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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 373 POSTS
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TODAY @ 11:46 AM
Farnorthbadger
User since 12/7/13

FNB, please supply supporting documentation to your "facts".

I'd counter that winter baiting/feeding that concentrates deer makes them more susceptible to predation in many cases. Evidence of this has been discussed frequently as it relates to wolf kills in close proximity to northern communities.

Simply put, artificial feeding is NOT a viable means of growing/supporting Wisconsins deer population whereas habitat enhancement certainly is!

And....before you mention Western big game feeding operations as justification, please recognize that in nearly all of these cases, we are dealing with migratory herds who have been cut off from traditional winter range that is either gone or inaccessible due to human development.

Lab the fact is that if deer are baited all fall by hunters they will go into winter with more fat reserves . That is indisputable. 

If deer have more fat reserves they will have better survival and reproduction rates . That also is indisputable. 

Those facts are exactly why our WDNR is and was in such a tizzy to ban fall baiting during hunting seasons. I wasn’t at all referencing winter supplemental feeding just normal fall baiting during hunting . 

TODAY @ 11:40 AM
madforlabs
User since 12/20/12

FNB, please supply supporting documentation to your "facts".

I'd counter that winter baiting/feeding that concentrates deer makes them more susceptible to predation in many cases. Evidence of this has been discussed frequently as it relates to wolf kills in close proximity to northern communities.

Simply put, artificial feeding is NOT a viable means of growing/supporting Wisconsins deer population whereas habitat enhancement certainly is!

And....before you mention Western big game feeding operations as justification, please recognize that in nearly all of these cases, we are dealing with migratory herds who have been cut off from traditional winter range that is either gone or inaccessible due to human development.

TODAY @ 10:34 AM
JC-Wisconsin
User since 4/1/05

Just a hunch...I think the problem with recruitment has to do with predation moreso than does not producing enough fawns.

TODAY @ 10:30 AM
Farnorthbadger
User since 12/7/13

Deer actually need other deer to survive winters.  They work together to dig through snow among other things.  They group together to survive.  It's why you see deer yards in the winter.  Higher population would actually increase survival rates."

OMFG. Your joking right?

Would a small herd of deer with many eyes have a much better survival rate than a solitary older buck when unlimited amounts of wolves are in the area? Especially when snow is crusted and deep ? 

TODAY @ 10:24 AM
Farnorthbadger
User since 12/7/13

So...if there are very few deer, why would the remaining deer be starving or reproducing poorly?  With that logic, we'd best not increase the northern herd as they'll all just starve to death without supplemental feeding.

With four feet of snow on the ground and no green up until June deer are going to die regardless of how “mild “ of a winter our WDNR calls it. If baiting were allowed fewer would die and more would survive and have more and healthier fawns . Those are facts . 

TODAY @ 10:21 AM
Farnorthbadger
User since 12/7/13

What I’m saying is that of the remaining deer up here , those extra calories baiting provided surely helped in surviving a bad winter such as last year and as this year is shaping up to be. It’s beyond a doubt that reproductive rates are higher when baiting is allowed . I would guess it’s more significant in winter buck survival rates especially those big boys rutting and coming into a long winter with no fat reserves.  Imho I think it’s the biggest reason our WDNR always seemed so frantic to end baiting . They know full well it will cause the deer population to drop further which might be another in a  wry long list of reasons we are currently harvesting under 1 buck per square mile during rifle season in the Northwoods. 


* 40 dpsm? Lol lets see if we can ever get back to 20 in the Northwoods first , it’s been 20 years since we’ve seen that. 

TODAY @ 9:54 AM
badgerstatehunter
User since 2/6/06

No I am not.  Deer yard up over winter.  If what you're saying is correct, they would spread out over winter.  They don't do that.   There is a reason they yard up.  Now there is a point where too many would hurt them as well due to not enough food, but the population is not even close to that point in many areas.  The bottom line is a healthy population helps in winter.  Over and under population hurts.  '


here is a good article explaining the concept.  

https://www.wildernessrealty.com/why-do-deer-yard-up-in-winter/

TODAY @ 9:48 AM
YBONE
User since 2/11/02

"Deer actually need other deer to survive winters.  They work together to dig through snow among other things.  They group together to survive.  It's why you see deer yards in the winter.  Higher population would actually increase survival rates."

OMFG. Your joking right?

TODAY @ 9:39 AM
badgerstatehunter
User since 2/6/06

Deer actually need other deer to survive winters.  They work together to dig through snow among other things.  They group together to survive.  It's why you see deer yards in the winter.  Higher population would actually increase survival rates.  

TODAY @ 9:26 AM
YBONE
User since 2/11/02

"There are fewer deer because they’re not birthing as many fawns after winter missing the extra fat those calories provided. There are fewer bucks because they’re not surviving with bad winters , wolves and less fat going into these bad winters."

So am I to infer from this statement (as well as others earlier in the thread) that you think the population density needs to be increased to offset winterkill? So, using easy math, your o.k with going into a winter with say 40 dpsm so we can come out with 20? So your ok with the 20 dpsm that didn't make it and had a slow painful death of starvation and left to rot on the forest floor as long as you "see deer" the 3rd weekend in November. That there is some stellar respect for the species and the ecosystem as a whole.

DISPLAYING 1 TO 10 OF 373 POSTS
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