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2019 Gun Deer Final Numbers

12/3/19 @ 12:08 PM
User since 4/1/05

Just released, 2019 vs. 2018: Total buck kill down 28.6%, total harvest down 24.9%.  Northern Forest region was the worst: buck kill down 39.5%, total harvest down 38.2%.

Post opening weekend quote: "In 2018, we held the earliest possible deer season followed by the latest possible season in 2019. This occurred between the 2012-13 and 2007-08 seasons as well, and we saw similar declines in opening weekend registration totals," said DNR big game ecologist Kevin Wallenfang. 

2012 antlered harvest: 119,469

2013 antlered harvest: 102,221, drop of 14.5%

2007 antlered harvest: 133,107

2008 antlered harvest: 103,845, drop of 22%

Yes, there were decreases if you only look at the variable as stated by DNR above.  Total harvest of 75,236 bucks in 2019 tells another story.  Even in the worst years, the total buck kill was down 25% on top of the decrease "due to a late start to the season."  The buck kill was down 19% from the lowest buck kill numbers in the last 13 years.  We are on a continued and readily apparent trend downward.

As I posted in another thread, pick the year and you get the same excuses from DNR: standing crops, no snow, late start date to season, and the best of all "lack of hunter effort."

Most of us had record snowfalls late in the season which has never been seen before.  The Winter Severity Index does not properly account for deep snow or extreme cold.  -1 degree counts the same as -30 degrees, and 18" of snow counts the same as 40" of snow according to their system.  I feel a lot of deer died last winter/spring, but we were told we had a record population and a moderate winter even though hundreds of barn roofs collapsed from all the snow.

Since we as hunters failed, and did not do our part to reduce this out of control population as DNR has told us about, I suspect DNR will offer more doe tags, more seasons, more weapons, and longer seasons since we all obviously are failing at hunting.  

I am guessing the number of licenses sold next year will drop even faster with the winter we are already having.  

12/5/19 @ 11:37 PM
User since 5/7/06

In my opinion the lack of deer in northern Wisconsin can be blamed on a few things.               1. Wolves                                       2. Lack of logging in National Forest                                             3. Bad Winters                                 There have hardly been any doe tags up North the last 5 years so you can't blame that. In the past, many years we shot a lot of does and the population always bounced back in a few years.                      You can't blame no tags and online registration because growing up in Northern Wisconsin believe me there was a lot more violating going on years ago. Online registration is very convenient and people will still violate if they want even with tags.                     When there was baiting the population was kept artificially high because of all the extra food in the woods. Now with only the "violators " baiting the deer have a lot less food. When there were lots of deer we seen a lot more bear and heard a lot more coyotes so I wouldn't blame them either . Just my opinion!!

12/5/19 @ 10:00 PM
User since 8/31/11

Scott Walker, Dr. Deer, and Bass.

Good stuff 

12/5/19 @ 9:30 PM
User since 12/22/12

You have one person to thank for this mess, and it's Scott Walker. Wisconsin used to be looked upon as having the best deer management systems in country. But Walker had to make a change so in 2012 he hired Dr. Deer from Texas to make changes to Wisconsin; even though managing deer in Texas has nothing in common with Wisconsin. Texas has six times less the amount of public land compared to Wisconsin. Heck, in Texas you hunt on the back of pickup trucks (no joke) on 20 foot fenced in private land properties that are up to 160,000 acres. But this Deer Czar new more so he recommended three major changes: 

1) Dr. Kroll said the state needed "to put the fun back into deer hunting by simplifying rules and fees". So the practice of making hunters register deer in person went away. Even though the Deer Czar hadn’t actually ever experienced first hand what this was like for Wisconsin hunters. Also, the common sense practice of putting a highly visible, neon green tag on the deer immediately after shooting it, went away too.  Right now there is no visual way of knowing if a hunter is legally harvesting a deer. In Chippewa County there have been poaching rings where people are shooting 40 plus deer on public land, because when poachers drag their deer out of the woods, there is no way for other hunters to keep them honest by seeing if the deer has a tag on it. 

2) The next major change was "liberalizing of doe seasons". So all of the extra hunts and bonus tags that have became even more available than even prior to 2012 are a direct result of his philosophy on deer management. 

3) Setting up advisory councils in each county to make the recommendation for how many doe tags are issued. This has ruined the state.

3) Perhaps the most consequential, was Kroll's belief that CWD is not a problem. In 2012, the DNR wanted to essentially cull the zone where CWD was located by doing a long, early October gun hunt. But Walker said no because the Deer Czar didn't agree, and today we have this disease running rampant around the state. Now before you disagree on CWD, I suggest you watch this podcast by Joe Rogan. I just about couldn't believe what I learned. A couple things I didn't know: 

1) prions can survive up to 1000 degrees

2) prions are not a living organism, therefore can't be killed, hence can survive on wood, grass, leaves for years, perhaps decades

3) CWD has a 2 year incubation period where the deer looks normal then it takes hold and always becomes fatal

12/5/19 @ 8:45 PM
User since 3/15/14

So...What was the conversation? Deer numbers down??

12/5/19 @ 8:43 PM
User since 3/15/14

Mab they should go back to 1 tag either or.  For bow. 

And mab gun?? 

I for one dont need 6 tags between 2 license. 

If ya got a buddy that wants a deer, well buy a license like the rest of us an get out there!!!

12/5/19 @ 8:35 PM
User since 1/9/08

Wow bass, he who lives in glass houses......

12/5/19 @ 7:53 PM
User since 1/23/16

J c you really started something I agree with you 100% and just about everyone else 

12/5/19 @ 7:30 PM
MEMBER since 3/1/12

Well, this thread should be labeled "The Gripe Site"!  It's nice to have a place besides the barstool to vent your frustrations.  Our DNR is not perfect and I agree is politically motivated ( as it has been for decades) but the blame can be spread to many conflicting groups (again has been for decades).  Climate changes have occurred for a long time and are affecting all things wild, like it or not.  

Busting others chops for their weapon of choice (some of us started with "noble" weapons like a stick bow when young and able and are now relegated to "crossguns" as the Nobel Drahts noted due to missing the use of one arm but still have the desire to hunt) is a bit of unneeded slight.  Most of you guys talk like, as my late Dad would say, "like a man with a paper a$$hole".  

When some of you grow up and realize that your way is not the only way (see democracy in Webster) and start doing something about it like going to spring hearings and CDAC meetings and joining clubs or groups that attempt to make changes rather than just spew your sophomoric ideologies to others on this site, maybe things will get better.

For the record, I am willing to meet up with the Holy Drahts and talk in person about my unfortunate use of a crossbow to continue hunting that is so disgraceful and maybe use my good arm to knock a little sense into you.


12/5/19 @ 6:48 PM
User since 11/29/01

I agree with Yamatroller , open the gun season to Nov. 15.  Michigan starts then , Kentucky, and Missouri start a week earlier and Minnesota starts 2 weeks earlier. Northern New York starts around Nov. 1. In northern Wisconsin , an earlier season would really help. We would reduce chances of 30" of snow in Bayfield co. and 18" right now in Price co. where I hunt. I would catch the tail end of the rut and would likely increase my chances of seeing a deer. This year the deer were so tired out they didn't even move. And for those who say it will over harvest??? Ask anyone hunting northern Wisconsin, there are literally thousand acre areas without a single human track going in . I literally hunted an up there again and it was dead quiet. You can hear a rifle shot 2 miles away and still hear the "crack" not the "poof" A poof you can hear 5 miles away. I heard 7 far off shots on the whole day Sunday. There is almost no hunting pressure up there and an earlier season would de ideal. Heck, get rid of the baiting and you could start rifle season up there Nov. 1 and we could go in the woods and actually see deer again, , but we have to hunt them again instead of sitting at a bait pile. Why not?? The crossbow guys have been sitting over corn piles all season, why shouldn't we?

12/5/19 @ 6:34 PM
User since 1/9/08

Skunky, and brews, thats exactly why you cant have the choice between public and private for tags.  Private needs to be treated the same as public

 Way to many slobs out there.. i know i used to be one of them.  But i learned better.

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