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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.  

TODAY @ 1:18 PM
User since 3/17/09

I hunt northwest of Boulder Junction, very few hunters, very few deer, lots of predators. Haven’t seen a hunter in the woods in 10 years back where I sit.

TODAY @ 12:43 PM
Brent Hess
MEMBER since 12/18/07

Lots of good points RH. 

I will say, I saw very few bow or gun hunters. 

There is a huge parcel of public hunting grounds between Plum Lake and Boulder Junction.  It goes on for miles after mile. 

I travel that area frequently, as it is a logging road / shortcut to Little John Lake and Boulder. The place is an absolute ghost town. Years ago there was a vehicle parked on the side of the road every 100 yards.  

Also interesting, during deer hunting week, we had 0 interest from folks looking to rent a cabin - certainly a departure from years past.  I’m not grousing about it, just an observation. 

I will say in years past, having more hunters in the woods helped to move deer.  If you stayed in your stand until 1:00 pm, your odds of seeing a deer were quite high, as folks were headed back to their truck for lunch. 

Deer hunting is very different than it used to be, just gotta roll with the changes - it’s all good. 

The Woodlands Resort
(262) 661-3968
TODAY @ 11:05 AM
User since 12/25/09

Brent I agree there was fewer hunters out during the regular gun season, possibly because there is too many seasons available to hunt. Is this causing burn out for many hunters or the idea I'll wait till the late season to hunt my meat deer/doe. When we had a single nine day state wide gun hunt putting  all hunters out at the same time it moved deer. With the changes to the archery equipment more people are choosing that as their main opportunity to harvest an animal as well as multiple gun/black powder seasons also putting fewer hunters in the wood at the same time resulting in less deer movement. I wish the DNR would look at the deer herd less as a source of revenue and more of a source of recreation for both consumptive and non-consumptive persons. Talk to any up north business owner and see what this has done to their livelihood, more money changed hands during the nine day season and more deer taken also. And then there is the CWD issue.

TODAY @ 9:43 AM
Brent Hess
MEMBER since 12/18/07

I should add, hunting pressure was non- existent. Exceedingly few folks in the woods. 

The Woodlands Resort
(262) 661-3968
TODAY @ 9:40 AM
Brent Hess
MEMBER since 12/18/07

In Vilas County I have not seen this many does since the 90’s. 

This spring they were a sack of bones (first pic), toward the middle of summer they were looking much healthier (second pic).

I hope the DNR continues to be stingy with doe tags in the northwoods. If memory serves, they only issued around 380.  

Have not seen too many bucks though...

I’m really encouraged with the number of deer that we’ve seen - definitely appear to be rebounding nicely. 

The Woodlands Resort
(262) 661-3968
TODAY @ 8:44 AM
User since 12/7/13

Weren’t  deer supposed to browse all day long with no more baiting increasing sightings ? 

TODAY @ 6:58 AM
User since 12/8/19

Just so many seasons and pressure causing deer to go nocturnal. I hunt Washington county private I see deer almost everytime I go out but definitely not like I used to about 30 minutes after dark my camera will show deer from that time untill about an hour untill first light they are definitely smart animals.

12/7/19 @ 11:00 PM
User since 1/9/08

Deer  around here do not eat pumpkins,  i don't know why but they dont.

 Point was, why was it not ok to be thrown around in the legal food plots, but legal to be all on one pile i  the exact same field?  It was literally 10 pumpkins and like 10 gourds thrown around on a 6 acre field.

The bigger point is the baiting. Why come after me, for this when there are guy's putting out 100s of pounds of corn the deer will actually eat ,and the dnr does nothing.

12/7/19 @ 9:50 PM
User since 1/16/07

Bluefin, dont act Koi.

Pumpkins are a staple bait choice.  If true, you got off easy.  

12/7/19 @ 5:38 PM
User since 1/9/08

There are deer around.... the whole discussion is the obviously ( to anyone who isnt delusional) lower population and how to bring it back.

 Of course , your buddy is most likely indicative of all of us who had sub par seasons.... i know you deffinately described me ! Lol ! What a joke 

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