I can't wait to hear what those hunters who saw nothing think when they hear the Wisconsin DNR preliminarily reported an 11-percent increase in deer harvest during the nine-day gun season from 2009 season.
Two other items jump out: foremost, there were no firearm-related fatalities; second, buck harvest (102,006) was up 17 percent from 2009.
Here's the gist:
A survey of Wisconsin deer registration stations conducted by the state Department of Natural Resources has yielded a preliminary tally of 218,144 for the just-ended, nine-day November gun deer hunt, an 11 percent increase over the 2009 nine-day season. The opener was highlighted by good hunting conditions on opening day and no firearm-related fatalities for only the second time on record (see related news release).
Statewide, hunters registered 102,006 bucks (a 17 percent increase over 2009) and 116,138 antlerless deer (a nearly 7 percent increase over 2009). Gun deer license sales totaled 621,094 at the close of the hunt.
The nine-day harvest numbers are preliminary and are expected to change before a final report is published in late winter. It does not include harvest information from the archery, October antlerless gun deer hunt, muzzleloader, December antlerless deer gun hunt or late archery seasons. The preliminary nine-day gun harvest count in 2009 was 196,688.
A table of county by county (pdf; 39kb) harvest broken down by DNR region, with a comparison to the 2009 preliminary harvest is available on the DNR Web site.
"This season included more regular units with a substantial number of buck only units as many units in the northern and central forest regions are close to population goals or are below goals," said Keith Warnke. "Wildlife management and especially deer management is a process of continual adjustment. This season's structure was influenced by deer hunters, population goal changes, last year's deer harvest, and the resulting estimated local deer populations."
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