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2019 Gun Deer Final Numbers

12/3/19 @ 12:08 PM
ORIGNAL POST
JC-Wisconsin
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.  

DISPLAYING 1 TO 10 OF 433 POSTS
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2/23/20 @ 9:05 PM
LittleLuck
User since 2/16/17

If I had to guestimate not even a half of the 1.8 or 2 million all time record high SAK guestimate that Kevin Wallenfang has been stating with excuses every year why we aren't killing more deer that aren't there. I believe when we had our record deer kill ever around 2000 or 2002 the SAK guestimate wasn't even 1.8 or 2 million. In the end it doesn't matter what my guestimate is, your guestimate is, or any others is, The point to be taken is that SAK isn't even close. Kill numbers are showing it along with other metrics as well as observations of thousands of thousands of hunters and people who don't hunt . There will always be a lot of people who really get it and some that don't. 

2/23/20 @ 3:38 PM
olswampdog
User since 10/6/04

"OSD you are in the minority in that you are one of the few non dnr people who still believes in SAK and that it is useful for deer population estimates."

Lol.....ok.

" Like I said before kill numbers alone are showing how far off and useless SAK is."

Let me ask you this. What do YOU think the population has been state wide with a fawn to doe ratio of about 1 (higher in the south lower in the north) and year after year harvest of around 350k. Tack on the 15% crippling loss. Add in another 100k for predation and vehicle crashes plus more some years for winterkill. Just curious.



2/23/20 @ 3:13 PM
LittleLuck
User since 2/16/17

OSD you are in the minority in that you are one of the few non dnr people who still believes in SAK and that it is useful for deer population estimates. Like I said before kill numbers alone are showing how far off and useless SAK is. Yet some believe it is a decent method for deer population estimates.  This is mind boggling. And not real science or deer management. 

2/23/20 @ 2:23 PM
olswampdog
User since 10/6/04

"OSD I would say you are in the minority when it comes to SAK." 

A minority how? In what context....lol.

"OSD just curious are you a former or current dnr employee and or do you have friends or relatives who work for the dnr and are involved in deer management? "

I did work at a State Park one summer. Does that count?

2/23/20 @ 2:18 PM
olswampdog
User since 10/6/04

"In 2019, 4,772 mi of rural roads were surveyed across all 99 Iowa counties. The number of miles surveyed was 18 mi shorter than the long-term average due to high spring precipitation and wet or flooded conditions along rural roads in riverine areas. In total, 16,490 white-tailed deer"

Seems like a similar method is used for visual summer samples in Wisconsin. Wisconsin gathers information from many sources to determine fawn to doe ratios. Perhaps I should backtrack a bit an agree with LL if this is the way you want to go and make sex ratios irrelevant. I did find it interesting that only unpaved rural roads were driven for the survey. Again though, Iowa is not Wisconsin in that it is very flat land consisting of farm fields cut only by river bottoms for the most part. Hardly comparable to Wisconsin. It would be an interesting comparison method in a few areas.

2/23/20 @ 2:03 PM
LittleLuck
User since 2/16/17

OSD keeping using something the doesn't work and is accurate to plus or minus121% makes no sense or logic to me. Anything would be more accurate than SAK. There have been suggestions on this thread, I guess you don't like them and still want to waste money on SAK. Your choice. Many thousands want to head in new direction. OSD I would say you are in the minority when it comes to SAK. Farnorthbadger yes the dnr is presenting SAK population estimates as real deer population numbers saying here is the post deer hunt population estimate post hunt for say for example Clark county central forest..Then this local dnr deer biologist states the population estimate is say 5400..He tells the cdac members and the public if you issue x amount of doe tags you will increase the population by say 10%. He also states that you will be in line with your objective to increase. The big flaw in this is that with a highly inaccurate SAK estimate you are not really increasing the population and heading toward your objective. And kill numbers really show this. The old smoke and mirrors.  OSD just curious are you a former or current dnr employee and or do you have friends or relatives who work for the dnr and are involved in deer management?

2/23/20 @ 1:55 PM
olswampdog
User since 10/6/04

"It seems to me that should be an exceptionally important number and one that should be used to completely override SAK at any point in time  as far as numbers of antlerless tags being voted on ."

So now you are only concerned with a miniscule number compared to harvest statistics. You really have to take your act on the road. You'd make millions.

2/23/20 @ 1:42 PM
kona77
User since 6/20/13

Interesting. In late winter early spring deer in wisconsin may be congregated in select fields. As you say might work in some farmland country.  What do they then do with that count? 

OSD-  I assume Iowa has the same issue with deer congregating in certain area's/fields/food sources in winter/early spring. Looks like they are flexible with the date of the survey (state mid-March to mid-May) and they wait for snow to come off the ground, but before things 'green-up" according to the DNR site. They also have other criteria for the nights they pick ( must have low wind..temps must be over 32 degree etc). Forgot to mention this is a "spotlight" survey and it appears it is done right after sunset.. They have tweaked the survey process a number of times and it actually started in 1978.  As noted this is just one of the methods used to help calculate the herd, but I really like and agree with a "boots on the ground" approach and actually counting deer as part of the process.

2/23/20 @ 1:02 PM
olswampdog
User since 10/6/04

"They use a spring survey where they select two different east/west roads in each county and they perform a manual count."

Interesting. In late winter early spring deer in wisconsin may be congregated in select fields. As you say might work in some farmland country.  What do they then do with that count? 

2/23/20 @ 12:56 PM
olswampdog
User since 10/6/04

OSD do you even live or visit Wisconsin? What part of the state did you hunt in ? 

Lived in Wisconsin until 2 years ago. I've hunted Waushara, Waupaca, Green Lake, Fond du Lac, Marquette, Monroe, Langlade, Oneida, Lincoln and Vilas. Owned land in Langlade from '96 until just before I moved. Hunted Langlade as early as the 60's. Could go days back then without seeing a deer. Didn't do much serious hunting after my dad died in 03. How about you?

DISPLAYING 1 TO 10 OF 433 POSTS
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