Cold and windy is the consensus on the opening weekend of deer hunting. Department of Natural Resources big game ecologist Kevin Wallenfang said numbers were down statewide for the opening weekend of the nine-day gun deer season.
“We are looking at a statewide reduction of about eighteen percent,” Wallenfang said Monday. That reduction in deer registrations is pretty easy to explain. Cold temperatures and strong winds, particularly on Saturday, drove many people out of the woods. “We speculate about so many things when the season is starting,” noted Wallenfang. “But you can kind of throw all of those things out the window when you have the temperatures like we had this weekend.”
Richard Dickman runs Dick’s Quality Meats in Blue Mounds, and said the dropoff in hunters registering their deer was particularly noticeable on Saturday. “At least 100 or more less than last year,” he said. “If you would have been out in the woods, you would have been out there about five minutes and left. The wind was blowing and it was icy cold.”
Still, the season runs through Sunday, and there are other hunts including bow hunting and muzzle-loading, so Wallenfang said it’s too soon to tell what impact the frigid weekend will have on overall numbers.