Harvest down from past years during Wisconsin’s 9-day gun deer season

Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 11:28 AM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WEAU) - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says the 2021 deer harvest during the state’s nine-day gun deer season is down from prior years.

Preliminary data shows that Wisconsin hunters took in 175,667 deer from Nov. 21 through Nov. 29, including 84,952 antlered and 90,715 antlerless deer.

That total is 8.9% lower than the five-year average from 2016 to 2020 and 7.9% lower than last year’s haul. Only one area of the state saw an increase in the number of deer harvested, the Northern Forest Management Unit, which was up 9.3% from last year but still down 8% from the five-year average in that region.

The Northern Forest Management Unit is comprised of mostly counties north of Highway 29 and east of Highway 53, although those aren’t the set boundaries. It includes the counties in the northern quarter of the state, plus a handful of counties in north-central Wisconsin, such as Price, Rusk, Taylor, and a part of Chippewa County. Other management units saw drops from the five-year average ranging from 7.5% to 14.9%.

A graphic showing Wisconsin's deer hunting zones for 2021.
A graphic showing Wisconsin's deer hunting zones for 2021.(Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources)

Few counties bucked the trend of harvesting fewer deer than a year ago. Burnett, Price, Rusk, and Sawyer counties all saw increases from 2020.

Before this year’s hunt, the DNR said that after below-average harvests in 2019 and 2020, 2021 seemed poised to provide more opportunities for deer hunters across Wisconsin.

Wisconsin DNR wildlife management program director Eric Lobner said the state saw a 3.8% increase in the number of non-resident hunters.

The DNR reminded hunters to use the Hunt Wild Wisconsin app to get up-to-date information such as hunting hours and property information as well as details on registering deer. Additionally, the DNR provided an update on safety tips, which are also available on the DNR website.

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