Deer population exceeds state goal

(WEAU) - Deer roaming free may be harder to find than you think.

While the deer population is above the state's goal, some hunters this season had a bit of bad luck.

The Wisconsin DNR estimates there are more than a million deer here in the badger state.

Although the numbers are unchanged from last year, the state says the deer population is 44 percent higher than the state goal of 800,000.

“It was the worst season that I ever had. I hardly seen anything for deer and close calls I only had one or two deer that were within shooting range,” said hunter Andrew Zahurones.

DNR Big Game Ecologist Kevin Wallenfang says that the deer population may not necessarily be above the state's goal all across Wisconsin.

“We have some units that the population goes up and it’ll be above goal and in other parts of the state we'll have units that are below goal, said Kevin Wallenfang in a phone interview.

“I'm kind of surprised, it doesn't seem like there's that many deer, maybe their hiding somewhere,” said Zahournes.

The DNR says specific areas of the state are seeing more deer on farmland, and fewer deer in forested areas.

“Last hunting season I was out all, everyday all day and I've seen maybe three deer besides the one I hit,” said hunter, Michael Wagner

Although the agency says it’s difficult to measure the deer population statewide, the 136 deer management units across the state help with estimating numbers.

“All of the information that goes into those models come from hunter collected information through the annual deer harvest,” said Wallenfang.

“They keep complaining deer population is so high, where are they?” said Wagner.

The DNR says that there will be 35 management forums throughout the state this month, where hunters can talk about local deer management issues.

More information can be found at

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