WISCONSIN (WBAY) - Wisconsin hunters harvested 1,500 fewer deer during 2017's gun-deer hunt than 2016's hunt, according to preliminary numbers from Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources.
Hunters took 195,738 deer during the 9-day season. That's down from 197,262 in 2016.
Northeast Wisconsin is located within the Central Farmland Zone. Numbers here were down from 2016. This year, Central Farmland hunters harvested 106,450 deer. In 2016, they took 111,634 deer.
Whether it was that pesky wind, a lack of snow, or corn fields yet to be harvested, hunters in Northeast Wisconsin overcame a few obstacles to record a deer harvest that almost mirrors the one from last year's gun season.
The overall harvest in the 13 counties in our viewing area is 38,977 deer. The number last year was 38,685 deer.
DNR Regional Wildlife Biologist Jeff Pritzl spent the day looking over the numbers.
"What stands out to me is that we had a fair number of counties that had an equal or greater buck registration than last year, especially Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Shawano," Pritzl says. "The antlerless kill in some of those counties went up, some went down, but overall the antlerless kill dropped off in counties where we were expecting and asking for an increase in the antlerless kill."
Pritzl says he senses many hunters are confident in holding off on taking a doe until later gun season opportunities, including the statewide four-day antlerless hunt starting December 7th, and the antlerless holiday hunt in a number of counties in late December.
While hunters had until 5 p.m. Tuesday to register their deer, the DNR understands a few may have forgot since hunters are no longer required to tag their deer.
"For a hunter that may find themselves in that position of, 'Oh geez, I forgot to register' ... those numbers are important to us and you can still register that animal," Pritzl says. "We encourage people to even if they forgot, they can still register that animal without penalty to give us the most accurate information possible."
ANTLERED VS. ANTLERLESS
2017 - STATEWIDE
2016 - STATEWIDE
2017 - CENTRAL FARMLAND ZONE
2016 - CENTRAL FARMLAND ZONE