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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 @ 7:52 PM
User since 11/11/15

It’s out of their (DNR) hands when a federal judge rules...

TODAY @ 7:43 PM
User since 3/17/09

Swamp buck , clearly you’re right about the wolves, the DNR aren’t at fault, they did just what they said they would do. Limit the population to 350. So what flavor is that cool aid.

TODAY @ 6:05 PM
User since 10/6/04

"Maybe JKB you along with OSD and Swanpbuck can show me where all these deer are that don't exist where I hunt". 

I wouldn't have any idea how many deer are by you LL. If you care to give the county you hunt I could give you figures the DNR thinks are there and how many have been harvested. I wouldn't have any idea how many deer are in the area FNB hunts as I haven't been on the properties. I could give him figures the DNR thinks are there and harvest data.  Some seem to think I feel the SAK is gospel yet I've pointed out several areas I think its weak. Some cant get past the fact I don't think what they say is gospel. A couple of ideas to support or correct the SAK have been put forth and when I ask for specifics on its viability I'm immediately considered against it. If they are good they will stand on their merit. If not maybe an adjustment will make it better. The Iowa survey has been refined many times. It may work in Iowa, it may or may not in Wisconsin. I don't know all the ins and outs of the SAK but I'm willing to ask about the specifics to better learn its limitations and strengths even if I don't think its perfect. As for those who won't answer questions or put forth anything but 1.8 million and the sky is falling I'm done with you. Spew away your conspiracy theories. You really aren't interested in listening to anybody anyways. Just find yourself a nice soapbox and have at it.

TODAY @ 6:04 PM
User since 6/25/02

Blaming the DNR is always the go to response to anything negative.  The DNR didn’t make it snow 25” up north, make it rain buckets for the year and fill up marshes, and  prevent farmers from harvesting 58% of the corn.  They did schedule the deer hunt around Thanksgivings which they have done for 75? Years and that resulted in lower deer movement.

They have tried to get young people interested in hunting by offering more seasons.  Like it or not if more young people don’t take up the sport, the PEtas and humane societies of the world will try to eliminate hunting as a sport.  Then you will really have something to complain about.

TODAY @ 4:31 PM
User since 4/1/05

Wow, this blew up fast.  Did the DNR screw up?  Yes.  Have they been screwing up for 20 years?  Yes.  Are they trying to screw up?  No.  Is the SAK useful?  Yes.  Is the SAK accurate? No.  

For those who do not hunt north of HWY29/64 near public land areas, there is little that can be done outside of predator control and stopping the shooting of deer.  I agree that finding new places to hunt works, but for those who have land it sucks if the land is devoid of deer.  For those that want to hunt after work in the Fall and need to find a new spot, it sucks because who wants to hunt after work if you have to drive 2 hours and make it before closing time.  There are vast areas where there are few deer.  For those of you who have good deer hunting in the north you are obviously the minority.

TODAY @ 4:07 PM
User since 6/25/02

Thanks for the free advertising publiclandhunter.  I didn't know I had a fan club.

TODAY @ 3:13 PM
Swamp buck
User since 1/23/09

Are bad winters the DNR's fault? No. Is EHD the DNR's fault? No. Is CWD the DNR's fault? No. Are greedy hunters the DNR's fault? No. Are wolves the DNR's fault? No. Are mountain lions the DNR's fault? No. Are road kills the DNR's fault? No. But according to you guys its always their fault. There are alot of factors guesstimating the population of the deer herd that change constantly. And you expect them to know where every deer on every square mile is and how many? Good grief. Maybe we should send out census forms for the deer to fill out! If they (DNR) would have said the population is low would you be less upset? Your mad because they SAID we have a large population. Geez get over it. You go in the woods but you don't see any deer or sign of deer but you still hunt there? Why? Try somewhere else. My cousin lives near Winter and he has all kinds of deer by him but he works hard on habitat and predator control. I think maybe I'll start hunting elephants in the north. I don't see any and I don't see any sign but I'm sure they're there....

TODAY @ 2:41 PM
User since 2/16/17

Here is a novel idea why don't we put more deer on the landscape in the north instead of moving hundreds of miles to hunt and find a few deer. Oh jkb you are such the expert hunter to comment on my self made sarcastic lake link name. It shows great insight when you have nothing productive or insightful to add to the conversation. 

TODAY @ 2:32 PM
User since 2/16/17


I can't manage public land. You make rediculous points again with no knowledge of the area. Also I have hunted the ag land and some private land with food plots in a large area and the deer aren't there either because they don't exist. Maybe there is a new breed of deer that also doesn't make tracks, poop, or rubs or scrapes. Maybe these same breed of imaginary deer are making up a lot of Kevin Wallenfangs record 1.8 to 2 million deer record deer guesstimates. Maybe JKB you along with OSD and Swanpbuck can show me where all these deer are that don't exist where I hunt. Swamp buck you obviously didn't read my previous post that sometimes people don't always have an option to move and hunt somewhere else nor should they have to because the deer were grossly mismanaged in very large areas. You guys have all the answers for an area you have no knowledge of and you also have no solutions to help fix the dnrs wildlife malpractice and deer management failures. Maybe deer hunting is ok where your at but it definitely isnt that way in the vast majority of the north especially on public land along with a lot of the private land which often isnt any better. So I guess according to swampbuck when the dnr mismanaged and wiped out a large area of deer we should just move a 100 or 200 miles where we might find deer and commute. Geez I don't think the public land is going to be any better there. Pretty soon you might have all the hunters hunting one square mile in one county.  I guess the swampbuck condones or thinks it's no big deal that the DNR grossly mismanages deer

TODAY @ 2:12 PM
User since 8/31/11

I would add guided hunts to your proposed fishing business JKB.  That could be a cash cow with all the deer and public land up there and a direct line to OSD.

"That is why you wouldn’t hire me nihsif.  This is supplementary income as I recently retired. I have never been accused of going with the flow.  I have standards and follow them strictly regardless if they are popular or not.

Being a former science teacher, I am offering a fishing trip which  I will not only teach techniques but educate the angler in the why so they can duplicate those patterns.  I will also provide history and ecology of the north woods.  Not for everyone but by being up front they know what to expect."

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