The 2016 gun deer season ended today and this year many hunters left the woods empty handed. The Wisconsin DNR says preliminary numbers show the number of deer harvested this year is down from 2015.
Abigail Hantke has the details.
The Wisconsin deer population may be high right now, but you wouldn’t know it from the harvest totals for the 2016-gun deer season.
“I have not fired a shot yet this season. My son was lucky enough to bag one but I have not fired a shot.”
But the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says population may not have been the issue.
“I know our licenses sales for the gun deer were down as well, that’s not unusual there were fewer tags issued for antlerless tags this year, buck kill was up a bit from last year. so, that’s good to see.”
DNR conservation warden Scott Thiede says lower harvest numbers could also be due to hunters not registering their deer, and this year’s new tagging rules could also have played a role.
Thiede says at the beginning of the gun deer hunt, they were having more problems with hunters not carrying around their carcass tags, a new rule this year, but it got better as the season went on.
But one tip he gave for hunters was to carry their tags in a plastic bag with a writing utensil, so you can write down the date of harvest immediately. Thiede adds this year’s season was also one of the safest.
“Last year there were five hunting-related fatalities in Wisconsin. This year, none were reported. opening weekend there were three hunting incidents but they were non-fatal they were serious injuries but they were non-fatal. I’m not aware of any fatal during our traditional hunting seasons.”
As many hunters put their guns away, and leave the woods empty handed, hunter Don Tumm of Fall Creek says he’s already looking forward to getting back to the woods for the next gun deer season.
“It’s always good to get out in the woods and get out and get some fresh air and get a little exercise and I enjoy the season when it comes that’s for sure.”
In Eau Claire, Abigail Hantke, Fox 25/48 News.
Although the gun deer season may have wrapped up, DNR conservation warden Scott Thiede reminds folks hunting in general is not over. The muzzle loader deer season begins tomorrow and continues until the 4-day statewide antlerless hunt which begins December 8th and archery deer season remains.