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Wisconsin deer hunting: Opening weekend of gun season up

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Deer hunters reported a preliminary total of 106,404 deer on opening weekend of Wisconsin's gun season, that's up 6.3 percent from last year.

Here's the gist of the opening-weekend report:

MADISON - Good to very good hunting conditions on opening day gave way to misty-rainy weather on day two of the 2010 gun deer hunt. Hunters participating in the traditional November nine-day gun deer hunt registered a preliminary tally of 106,404 deer over the first two days of the hunt.

The 2010 preliminary count was up about 6.3 percent from the opening weekend count of 100,330 from 2009. Preliminary buck harvest statewide in 2010 was 54,263 and preliminary antlerless harvest was 52,141.

Click here for the full report.

Wisconsin's nine-day gun season runs through Sunday.

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15 Comments

we must have some highly educated fools runnin the show in this pathetic dnr. up 6.3%??? my @ss. the numbers are down and every person that went out in the woods knows it. those fools will have one less hunter next year. some major changes need to be made. we could start by having someone in the dnr that can count past ten.

well i been hunting norther wis for as long as i can remmber and i have not seen such a low number of deer in my life i rember the days when you could see 30 to 40 deer opening day to now last year i seen one doe fawn on the last day last hour. and hunted every day all day in stand. to this year were i seen 2 deer and take in mind i hunt from sun up to sun down. i am in the woods and back roads alot and the deer sign i just not there. what happen to all the deer they say we have in northern wis. wee you can shot as many as you want for 2 dollars this is crazy when the deer are not here. i also am a avid bow hunter who knows the ropes and also not seeing the deer. who is to blam for this problem the hunters or the dnr who are telling us to shot as many deer as we want. it came to the point where i spend enough money every year feeding deer and bear to where i could pay to go to another state and have a good season were there are deer. its had forthe youth hunters when you take them out feeding deer for a month before season and then they sit for hours and not see any why would they like to do this sport int he future. its time we stop shooting all these doe and make it 6 points or big on the bucks and let the herd grow and in a few years we would have a large amount of big mature bucks and more deer for the younger kids are grand parents ha it why cant they is it all about the money. i sitt and watch rd hunters all dasy cause it is the only way pl are seeing deer is to cover alot of ground hoping to find on standing out there and bang i get the deer the dnr gets to fine them.

I am SURPRISED at the statement that the kill is up. Bad weather did not help, but in talking with hunters in the northern part of the state, and friends, ALL to a person state that hunting this year is way down in kills, and number of hunters out in the woods. I live near Rhinelander 5 mos out of the year so I think I have a feel for the truth of what the hunt was like this year---and it stink, stank, stunk !!!

This is the worst hunting season. not only for our group but hunters all over the state. the dnr is killing deer hunting in wisconsin. its getting bad when you make a deer drive and all that comes out is coyotes and wolves. they kill alot of the fawn herd.Its bad when you only see a few does and no bucks all season long.we need to get rid of the preditors and the ag tags and shooting deer just to shoot them. we the people need to control the DNR.

I will not be hunting Wisconsin for many years. The DNR has destroyed Iron County deer hunting with their crazy wolf reintroduction and mismanagement. Many wolves were seen this year by the hunters I regularly see. I hunted the first 7 days and my party of 8 saw zero bucks. That's right - Zero! The DNR needs to be completely overhauled if this is the way they plan on managing the only hunt that financially matters in Wisconsin. They should be absolutely ashamed of themselves.

Judging from the above posts, I'm sure the auto insurance industry is clicking its heels in joy. I've heard some "stories" that the auto insurance industry has been rather influential with the WI DNR in regards to herd size.

Its wasn't bad all over the state or for every group. Quit broad brushing. 2008 and 2009 were bad years for us but this year was good. Could we have seen more deer? Certainly! But we are thankful for a good year with meat in the freezer. As for the 6 points or bigger for the bucks, thats nothing but ego talking. Its all about the big buck for the wall. Thats what really has you guys all fired up. So to satisfy your ego you want to cut out the meat hunter that prefers young buck or doe meat. You don't care about the herd or the future of hunting. You just care about your wall and your bragging rights. Get for real!

MY GROUP DROVE THE WHOLE SEASON AND DIDNT SEE MUCH. I SAT EVERYDAY AND WAS VERY SATISFIED WITH THE AMOUNT OF BUCK AND DOE THAT I SAW. A ALSO HUNT PUBLIC LAND THAT IS VERY OVER HUNTED. LAST YEAR WAS TERRIBLE BUT 08 WASNT TO BAD. DO I THINK THAT THE DNR IS SCREWING UP? WELL YEAH. BUT DONT BLAME THEM COMPLETELY. IF YOU KEEP HUNTING THE SAME AREAS AND YOU ALL DO HOW LONG DO YOU THINK THATS GONNA LAST? BESIDES IM SURE YOU GUYS WERENT COMPLAINING WHEN YOU FILLED ALL YOUR TAGS A FEW YEARS AGO "WHEN HUNTING WAS GREAT."

I have hunted in wi. for 25 plus yrs. and the last 3 years have been the worst.
The last 2 years in a row I have not seen a deer . I hunted long and hard in areas that are supposed to have a lot of deer.I have shoot a lot of deer in past years.
I think you hvae too many hunts before the regular season and you have made the deer so gun shy that at the first soot of the regular season theygo into hiding deep into the woods were most people cant go.
I hunt mostly public land , have for many years and the last 2 have been the worst.
I really dont think there are as many deer as the dnr says there is. We are shooting way too many does , which in turn means that many less fawns born in the spring.
THE DNR DEER COUNT IS WAY OFF.
i WITH A LOT OF OTHER HUNTERS ARE NOT VERY HAPPY WITH THE DNR .
I am seriously thinking of of hunting in a different state next year.
NO i just dont care about my wall and braging rights . I would like to put some venison on the table and be able to have some home made sasuage .

i agree that they should have a law that a buck has to have over 6 points to be shot unless you are under a certain age. it would help increase the number of deer and there would be a lot more mature bucks out there.

Are the numbers up or down. Seems no one knows for sure. But I will get my deer for the season. At www.peartreegameranch.com were I go there are plenty of deer. Hope you guys get the deer you want. Good luck.

The counts in Iron county are down and have been going down for years. When is the DNR going to step in and do something. With counts in the hundreds now, it would be a good time to start!! Or maybe they will just wait until we are all standing around and looking at the single deer harvested and say "what happened". This did not happen overnight, its been declining in iron county by double digit percentages for years and the DNR sits there and looks for the counties that are up a few percent from the last year for the good news. That's smoke and mirrors too, even those counties are down big time if you look back just a few years! It's going to be funny when everyone travels to another state that manages their deer correctly to hunt and the people in the Wisconsin DNR are put on the chopping block because the budget is not as fat as it is now!

insurance companies have huge lobby to influence state DNR officials. they want less deer in the state to save money on deer/vehicle accidents. DNR studies conclude the loss of aging baby boomer deer hunters are not being replaced by the younger generations. the push has been to mow down the deer herd now before we lose all the boomers in the next 10-15 years as they retire from the sport. whats wrong with the old school, hunters party tag? (four hunters/one tag shoots one doe) coupled with one buck only tag. running dogs in the woods during deer bow season, youth hunts prior to peak rut, small gamers tromping around the woods all add up to deer turning to nocturnal survivalists during the bow season and before anyone breaks out the blaze orange. we hunters must shoulder some responsibility and answer the hard questions of how do we tone down or eliminate woods activity before both the bow and the gun deer hunt. will we be selfless, or, selfish. stop blaming the DNR, we know they are paid off. what is it we want, and are we mankind enough to do the right thing to preserve Wisconsin's greatest hunting activity. bear hunters with dogs, small gamers, youth hunters, would you be willing to bear the burden of change for the greater good. or, will we continue blaming the DNR propaganda with no change as their goal?

I've hunted for 34 years and am very saddened by what has happened to the herd. Unfortunately we have no one to blame but ourselves. Year after year of limitless doe tags has a price to pay. I've been incredibly frustrated by my fellow hunters who will complain about low numbers and still shoot does. It's like they don't even realize that for every doe shot they kill 3 deer (1 doe and 2 fawns for next year). Untill hunters wake up and can control there impluse to shoot the first thing they see, we won't ever get back to healthy herd numbers.
I know there are a a lot of meat "hunters" that don't understand what real hunting is. They know how to harvest, but to hunt is to seak out a mature and smart animal. To simply shoot the first dumb yearling that walks by takes no skill whatsoever. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy venison but I am willing to stop harvesting long enough for numbers to come back. Unfortunately I seem to be alone surrounded by greedy harvesters.

I have been a deer hunter for over 50 years. ( I started very young!) I am a Texas-import, and have been a Wisconsinite for over 15 years. Texas hunting is very different than in Wisconsin. Depending on the part of the state one hunts in, you might lease the land with a group of fellow hunters, usually year after year. With the larger leases, we followed the recommended enlightened deer management techniques that came out in the late 80's and 90's. Our hill-country lease was over populated with doe, and bucks were over hunted in the sense that we were mostly harvesting 6-point bucks. Our first efforts at management was to reduce the doe numbers. This was successful and we started seeing more deer. (Older does tend to produce only one fawn, if any.) This meant a higher buck/doe ratio. We then had a two year moratorium on killing any bucks. (Except for a new member -1 buck.) After two years we instituted an 8-point minimum. Two years after that we instituted a 8/10 point minimum. (Texas has a two buck limit. First deer could be an 8 point, second had to be a 10 point.)

-My opinion is 1. the deer herd should be managed for the number of hunters buying licenses, and the harvest, not the number of automobiles on the road. (Perhaps lower speed limits in heavily deer population areas would help.)
2. Drivers need to be educated on how to drive in deer country.
3. wolves need to be controlled. I love to see pictures of wolves, but the truth is that they must eat every day or so, and deer are the food of choice in Wisconsin.
4.The number of deer should determine the number of deer to be harvested. An unlimited $2.00 a head, limit on does will destroy the deer herd in some areas. I also believe that no state wide limits will work in Wisconsin. Some counties will always produce more deer.

Hunters should appreciate the efforts of the DNR regarding deer populations, and the DNR should honor the wishes and needs of hunters. There are portions of the State who depend on the income from hunters. Loss of deer hunters will hurt most areas of the State.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on November 23, 2010 6:12 AM.

Illinois deer hunting: Opening weekend was the previous entry in this blog.

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