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Wisconsin deer harvest, license sales up from 2019

Deer hunters returning to camp in Northern Wisconsin last season.
Deer hunters returning to camp in Northern Wisconsin last season.(WBAY)
Published: Dec. 1, 2020 at 12:34 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has released preliminary totals from the state’s 169th gun-deer hunt.

The early figures show an increase in deer license sales.

Also, more women are hunting in Wisconsin.

Here’s the breakdown:

LICENSE SALES

Preliminary license sales indicate an increase in the number of deer hunters in Wisconsin compared to 2019 and 2018.

As of Nov. 29, sales for gun, bow, crossbow, sports and patron licenses reached 820,299. Of that total, 569,203 were for a gun hunt.

Sales for all deer licenses are up 3.5 percent.

The DNR says more women are hunting. The number of female hunters in 2020 reached 92,312. That’s up 12 percent from 2019.

Forty-two percent of licenses were sold in person at DNR agents. The rest of the licenses were sold online.

REGISTRATION

Preliminary numbers show hunters registered 188,712 deer during the nine-day gun-deer hunt.

  • ANTLERED: 85,340
  • ANTLERLESS: 103,372

Since the start of archery season in September, hunters have registered 305,171 deer.

The DNR says deer harvest trends are above 2019 numbers. The gun-deer hunt harvest was up 15.8 percent statewide. The buck harvest was up 12.2 percent from 2019.

The antlerless harvest was up 19 percent.

All zones saw harvest increases.

“Current deer harvest totals have surpassed the total deer harvested in 2019, but harvest trends lag behind 2018, which had the highest total deer harvest since 2013. While many southern farmland zone counties saw double-digit increases in the buck harvest, the harvest was not evenly distributed across the state,” reads a statement from the DNR.

CLICK HERE for a full breakdown of numbers by county and more.

GUN-RELATED INCIDENTS

The DNR has identified one gun-related death and eight gun-related injuries:

• Washburn County, Bashaw Township: On Nov. 21, 2020 at approximately 11:30 a.m. a 62-year-old male victim was struck in the upper arm and face by a rifle round. A 19-year-old shooter and victim were participating in a deer drive together. The victim was taken by helicopter for medical treatment.

• Saint Croix County, Eau Galle Township: On Nov. 21, 2020 at approximately 2:55 p.m. a 14-year-old male victim was struck in the left leg by a shotgun slug. The 27-year-old shooter and the victim were participating in a deer drive together. The victim was taken to a hospital, treated and released.

• Adams County: On Nov. 22, 2020 at approximately 1:00 p.m. a 40-year-old male shooter/victim was working the action of his pistol when it discharged into his left hand. The victim was treated at a local hospital.

• Door County; Washington Island: On Nov. 22, 2020 at approximately 4:27 p.m. a 65-year-old male victim/shooter was exiting his blind with his shotgun when he tripped and the firearm discharged into his chest. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

• La Crosse County, Onalaska Township: On Nov. 24, 2020 at approximately 8:45 a.m. a 62-year-old male victim was walking with a rifle when he slipped and fell on the snow, causing the rifle to discharge. A round entered his right foot. The victim went to a local hospital for treatment.

• Richland County, Sylvan Township: On Nov. 24, 2020 at approximately 5:10 p.m. a 68-year-old male victim was sitting in his vehicle when a loaded rifle discharged and the bullet grazed his forehead. The shooter placed the loaded firearm in the vehicle with it pointed at the victim. The victim pushed the muzzle away when it fired.

• Waushara County, Coloma Township: On Nov. 26 at approximately 4:40 p.m. a 26-year-old female victim was walking on the Ice Age trail when she was struck by a bullet in the thigh. A 51-year-old male shooter was shooting at what he thought was a deer. Victim went to local hospital for treatment.

• Marathon County, McMillan Marsh Wildlife Area: On Nov. 27 at approximately 9:30 a.m. a 30-year-old male victim was participating in a large deer drive. A 26-year-old male shooter was shooting at a running deer when his bullet struck the victim in the face and shoulder area. The victim was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

• Green County, Exeter Township: On Nov. 28, 2020 at approximately 9:50 a.m. a 15-year-old male victim was participating in a deer drive. A 45-year-old male shooter shot at a running deer and his bullet struck the victim in the leg. The victim went to a hospital in Madison for treatment.

FUTURE HUNTING OPPORTUNITIES

• Nov. 30-Dec. 9: Statewide muzzleloader hunt

• Dec. 10-13: Statewide four-day antlerless-only hunt;

• Dec. 24-Jan. 1, 2021: Nine-day antlerless-only holiday hunt in select Farmland Zone counties;

• Now until Jan. 3, 2021: Remaining archery and crossbow seasons; and

• Jan. 4-31, 2021: Extended archery and crossbow seasons in select Farmland Zone counties.

Final numbers should be released in January.

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