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Wisconsin DNR: Deer harvest down 14% on opening weekend from last year

The DNR said that after below-average harvests in 2019 and 2020, 2021 seemed poised to provide...
The DNR said that after below-average harvests in 2019 and 2020, 2021 seemed poised to provide more opportunities for deer hunters in Wisconsin.(David Kenyon | MI Dept. of Natural Resources)
Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 10:54 AM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WEAU) - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource is providing updates on the number of deer harvested, licenses sold and safety updates Tuesday morning.

The DNR and Wisconsin Department of Health Services made the update three days into the nine-day gun deer hunting season in the state.

Wisconsin hunters statewide took nearly 14,000 fewer deer on opening weekend this year than last year, with 85,860 deer harvested in 2021 compared to 99,832 in 2020 over the hunt’s first two days. That’s a drop of 14% year-over-year. 2021′s total is also down 20.3% from the five-year average for opening weekend spanning 2016 through 2020 of 107,762.

Only one area of the state saw an increase year-over-year in deer taken: the Northern Forest zone, which includes counties generally north of Highway 29 and east of Highway 8 such as Chippewa, Rusk, and Taylor. 1,339 more deer were taken this year on opening weekend compared to last year, a 9.7% increase.

Before this year’s hunt, the DNR said that after below-average harvests in 2019 and 2020, 2021 seemed poised to provide more opportunities for deer hunters across Wisconsin.

Wisconsin DNR wildlife management program director Eric Lobner said the state saw a 3.8% increase in the number of non-resident hunters.

On opening weekend of the gun deer hunt, the DNR reported three injuries, two in Door County and one in Waukesha County. All were caused by unwanted discharge of a firearm. One of the injured people, from Door County, was a 10-year-old.

The DNR reminded hunters to use the Hunt Wild Wisconsin app to get up-to-date information such as hunting hours and property information as well as details on registering deer. Additionally, the DNR provided an update on safety tips, which are also available on the DNR website.

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