While more hunters were able to shoot a buck than last year, overall harvest numbers and participation were down during Wisconsin’s recently ended nine-day gun deer season.
Preliminary figures released by the Department of Natural Resources show hunters shot 196,785 deer during the season, compared to 198,057 during the 2015 gun hunt. The number of hunting licenses sold also fell this year, from 612,377 in 2015 to 598,867 for 2016.
The numbers do show a jump in the number of bucks harvested by hunters, which was up 5.7 percent over 2015. Overall, 97,892 bucks were taken during the season, with some areas seeing a big jump. In the state’s Northern Forest Zone, there was a 30 percent increase in bucks shot by hunters.
Hunters were required to register their deer using the state’s online system by 5 p.m. the day after they were harvested. Any hunter who failed to do so is still urged to follow through with a registration, even if they missed the deadline.
The season was one of the safest in recent years, with no fatalities and just five people injured in hunting-related incidents.