Wisconsin buck harvest up from 2015
Wisconsin deer hunters shot considerably more bucks during the state's recent nine-day firearms deer season, but about the same number of deer overall as in 2015. That was the report Tuesday from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, whi...
Wisconsin deer hunters shot considerably more bucks during the state's recent nine-day firearms deer season, but about the same number of deer overall as in 2015.
That was the report Tuesday from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, which said preliminary registration figures indicate a total of 97,892 hunters were successful in their pursuit of a buck, an increase of 5,282 or 5.7 percent compared to 2015.
In the northern forested area, including Northwestern Wisconsin, hunters took 30 percent more bucks this year (23,445) than last, and 21 percent more antlerless deer (8,955).
That's a sign that deer numbers are bouncing back in an area hard-hit by winters in 2013 and 2014.
"While many factors influence hunter success, the buck harvest is one of our best indicators of how the population is responding to harvest strategies in the forest zones," said DNR big game ecologist Kevin Wallenfang. "The harvest is never uniform just as deer densities aren't uniform, but overall it is encouraging to see the increase in the northern counties, and statewide harvest levels similar to last year."
Statewide, 196,785 deer were harvested during the nine-day gun deer hunt that ended Sunday compared to 198,057 in 2015, a 0.7 percent decline. Of those 97,892 were bucks, up 5.7 percent, and 98,893 were antlerless, a 6.2 percent decrease.
"The gun deer hunt is one of our more anticipated outdoor traditions, and it's very important to Wisconsin's economy and conservation while providing millions of hours of enjoyment in the field," DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp said in a statement. "White-tailed deer are one of our greatest natural resources, and it's exciting to see the passion so many people have for hunting and conservation in our state."