Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Opening weekend of gun deer season yields significantly lower harvest than 2018Submitted: 11/29/2019
Story By Stephen Goin

Opening weekend of gun deer season yields significantly lower harvest than 2018
NORTH CENTRAL WISCONSIN - Recently released harvest figures from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) show hunters across the state had some difficulty managing a growing deer herd.

As a whole, Wisconsin fell far short of last year's results from opening weekend of the nine-day gun deer season.

More than 90,000 deer were harvested this past Saturday and Sunday according to the DNR. In 2018, more than 123,000 deer were harvested during opening weekend. That's a 27% decrease over one year.

Ironically, the white-tail deer population in Wisconsin is near a record high. The post-hunt population in 2018 was estimated at 1.8 million. In an interview with Wisconsin Eye previewing the gun deer season, DNR big game ecologist Kevin Wallenfang said the current deer population could be well over 2 million.

"The status of our deer population, the robustness of our deer population is excellent in fact in some areas it's too excellent," said Wallenfang.

In the same interview, Wallenfang also correctly predicted that counties in the "central farmland" area would have a big harvest. Hunters in central Wisconsin led the state with 4,300 deer harvested in Marathon, Shawano and Waupaca counties. That's nearly 10% of the total deer harvested. 

"Our farmland areas are extremely productive deer factories, the resources are there, the temperature, the climate, the snow depth, all those things are lower than we see in Northern Wisconsin," said Wallenfang.

People in the Northwoods saw considerably less action. Hunters in Taylor County had the highest total, harvesting nearly 1,200 deer while those in Langlade County harvested more than 900 deer. Hunters in Oneida, Price and Lincoln counties brought in about 800 deer per county. 

According to a DNR media release, hunter reports of deer activity varied around the state and within regions. Some reported excellent deer activity while others reported very little, including in areas where deer abundance is known to be high.

Wallenfang said he believed the 2019 season starting a week later than last year contributed to low harvest totals.

"In 2018, we held the earliest possible deer season followed by the latest possible season in 2019. This occurred between the 2012-13 and 2007-08 seasons as well, and we saw similar declines in opening weekend registration totals," said Wallenfang.

DNR wildlife specialist Marc Kenyon said that the lower harvest count is not a cause for concern.

"Next year we can reevaluate, we also have the winter coming up and we'll see how many animals make it through the winter," said Kenyon.

Kenyon said severe weather expected Saturday will also affect hunters and their ability to harvest.

"Some hunters may find it more difficult to reach some of their prime hunting locations, yet snow falls will make it easier for hunters to track deer," said Kenton.

The DNR still recommends testing deer you harvest for chronic wasting disease or CWD.

See a map of 24/7 self-service kiosks for CWD testing here.

The 2019 gun deer season ends Sunday followed by a 10-day muzzle loader season.

After that, Wisconsin will hold antlerless deer hunts in December and January.


Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

MADISON - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds those celebrating the Fourth of July that fireworks are prohibited on all DNR lands. Prohibited areas include state parks and forests as well as state-owned public hunting and fishing properties.

+ Read More

Play Video

PHELPS - The small town of Phelps celebrates the 4th of July in a big way every year. But due to the coronavirus, organizers like Amy Thomason had to get a bit creative this year.

"We felt it was really important to find a way to celebrate 4th of July even with all that's going on," said Thomason.

Rather than cancel its popular parade, the town decided to move it to the lake.

"A lot of our community organizations are decorating boats," said Thomason. "It's just a great way to celebrate the 4th of July and keep our social distance. We're all in our own boats."


+ Read More

MADISON - The Wisconsin Supreme Court won't hear oral arguments in a lawsuit seeking to purge thousands of voters from the rolls until at least September, raising questions about whether the justices will rule before the Nov. 3 presidential election.

+ Read More

Play Video

MERRILL - Merrill Paramedics are getting an upgrade to EMT's skill set with Rapid Sequential Intubation.

The procedure requires two paramedics to complete and begins with administering a sedative and paralytic medication.

From their paramedics are able to properly insert a breathing tube and begin ventilation.

Merrill paramedics predict RSI will do more than support critical conditioned patients with oxygen flow, it could save their life.

The difference with the Merrill Rapid Sequential Intubation system is we have the ability to actually sedate and paralyze the patient that is conscious so we can take over control of their breathing and their airway for them and provide them the oxygen and ventilation that they need to support life," Merrill Firefighter and Paramedic, Chris Clabots said.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - You may have heard that the Oneida County fair is canceled this year due to COVID-19.

Just recently fair organizers including Tom Barnett and Meg Sprecksel announced the fair will still happen--but virtually.

Fair treasurer Meg Sprecksel said the idea of having a virtual fair rather than not having a fair at all came as a surprise.

"After our decision to cancel the fair, we saw some other fairs going virtual, and it enticed us," she said.

The fair's Facebook page, Instagram, and website (ocfairwi.com) will encourage people of all ages to participate, even if it's not physically in-person.

While traditional fair games are primarily kid-friendly, Sprecksel said the virtual fair is different.

+ Read More

MADISON - A reward has been doubled to $10,000 for information leading to whoever set fire to a biracial Wisconsin woman who says she was attacked while she was driving.

+ Read More

MILWAUKEE - The ACLU of Wisconsin and All Voting is Local today released Ballots for All: Ensuring Eligible Wisconsin Voters in Jail Have Equal Access to the Ballot.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: