This year's nine day gun deer hunt could be summed up with two words: safe and productive. DNR's Keith Warnke says a preliminary count shows hunters registered more than 167,000 deer during the first two days of the 2006 season — and they took 18% more antlerless deer than last year. "What we need to do, however, is wait until we can match those antlerless numbers to the specific (deer management) units where we need herd reduction," says Warnke. There was no October hunt this year; in past seasons 70,000 or more antlerless deer were typically killed in that season.
Warnke says the total harvest after the upcoming December four day antlerless hunt , and the age structure of that total, will tell DNR what the population of deer was at the beginning of the hunting seasons. "It's so important to have the full hunting seasons worth of statistics" says Warnke. "That being said, I would certainly encourage hunters to take an active role in participating in the December antlerless-only gun deer hunt."
The nine day hunt was also a safe hunt, with only one firearms related fatality.