Bonus Antlerless Tags in High Demand

GREEN BAY, Wisc. (WBAY) It didn't take deer hunters long to claim bonus antlerless tags that went on sale today for Wisconsin's forest zones.

Thousands of deer hunters taking aim in the north woods this fall headed to a DNR Service Center or online this morning beginning at 10am.

"Bonus antlerless tags are the only way antlerless harvest is set up, they don't have the free farmland antlerless tags that come immediately with licenses," says DNR Regional Wildlife Biologist Jeff Pritzl.

More than 2,200 antlerless tags available for private and public land in Marinette and Oconto County forest zones sold out within two hours.

Pritzl says demand this year is tied to the increased opportunity.

"We're down to only three northern forest counties that are still buck only, so most of the northern forest counties had tags available," says Pritzl.

It's a sign the deer population in the northwoods is on the rebound.

"There's no question both with the evidence that we've seen in the harvest trends the last couple of years, but just knowing what weather does to deer up north and we're three years out now from those really difficult winters that were certainly hard on the deer population, so we're having our third years of good fawn production up north in anticipation of increased deer numbers," says Pritzl.

Bonus tags for the Central Farmland Zone, which covers most of Northeast Wisconsin, go on sale tomorrow morning at 10am.

The tags can be used as early as archery season, which is now just a month away.

"For those of us that really look forward to that it's like you hate to see summer coming to an end so soon, but quite honestly we can't wait for fall to get here," says Pritzl.