Wisconsin hunters were able to harvest more deer than last year, according to preliminary figures from the nine day gun season that ended on Sunday. The state Department of Natural Resources says hunters registered almost 244,000 deer, a 7.7 percent increase from the 2011 season.
The numbers show about 115,000 bucks were taken, a 12 percent increase over last year. The antlerless harvest was up about four percent at around 129,000.
The state ended up selling over 644,000 deer licenses. Almost 30,000 of them were heavily discounted to encourage first-time hunters to get into the woods.
Officials reported seven shooting incidents during the gun season, and one hunting death. A 27-year-old Douglas County man was shot by his hunting partner, who mistook him for a deer. A Milwaukee man was also found shot to death on federal land that was open to hunting at Fort McCoy. Army officials have yet to say if another hunter shot the victim.
Meanwhile, deer hunting is not over. This is the second day of the muzzle-loader season, and bow hunters are still in the woods. There’s also an antlerless hunt from December 6th through 9th, plus a holiday hunt in the southern Wisconsin CWD zones from Christmas Eve through January 6th.