Nearly 25 percent fewer deer harvested during 2019 gun deer season

(DNR)
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- Preliminary numbers are in for the state’s nine-day gun deer season.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, 160,569 deer were registered during the 2019 gun deer season. That is a 24.9 percent drop compared to 2018 data. In 2018, there were 213,972 deer harvested.

Click here to see how that breaks down by county.

Gun deer season took place Nov. 23 through Dec. 1.

DNR officials said although opening weekend had mild temperatures throughout the state, hunting conditions deteriorated the rest of the gun deer season as heavy wind, snow, and rain moved through the state.

Officials believe standing corn was also a factor that influenced the 2019 gun deer season. DNR officials said farmers harvest 66 percent of their corn.

According to the DNR, Wisconsin held the earliest possible deer season in 2018 followed by the latest possible season opener in 2019. Officials said in past seasons where this occurred, there were similar declines in numbers.

The DNR predicts the deer harvest numbers will increase with additional hunting opportunities. The statewide muzzleloader season began Dec. 2 and runs through Dec. 11. The four-day antlerless-only hunt begins Dec. 12.

Preliminary gun deer license data shows a 2.02 percent decrease compared to 2018. In 2019, 564,664 gun deer licenses were sold compared to 576,277 in 2018.

In total, 732,548 gun, archery, and crossbow licenses were sold through the end of the nine-day gun deer season, compared to 803,772 in 2018. A majority of those licenses, 54 percent, were sold in person.