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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 442 POSTS
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TODAY @ 3:37 PM
jkb
User since 6/25/02

No that is my narrative based on me hearing 2 shots opening day within 2 miles of me and none on the second day.  I am surrounded by public land so there is plenty of opportunity.


TODAY @ 2:00 PM
jkb
User since 6/25/02

FNB, OSD knows what the weather was in northern Wisconsin because I told him. He is my cousin, has hunted there and  I live near St. Germain and there were very few hunters opening day and even fewer on Sunday.  Conditions on those two days were perfect but deer movement near our area was limited due to coyotes and the lack of movement as the rut was over by then.  Then we got 15" on Wednesday.  I waded through the knee deep snow to hunt Thursday and Friday but I saw no one else hunting.  You would get stuck pulling off the road and couldn't get into logging roads. The next day we got a foot more.  25" of snow further complicated things as deer do not want to move when the snow is over their shoulders.

Little luck, it doesn't take a genius to understand that as a forest ages and the trees get taller then is little to no food or cover available.  Deer won't spend much time there.  Unless you have a food plot planted or you have logging done the deer won't have a reason to be there.  Don't blame the DNR for mismanaging the deer herd when you don't have anything to attract deer in the first place.  OSD and I hunted Meadow valley for 25 years and were very successful until we left due to family.  We learned the land and patterned hunters as much as the deer.  We also moved based on recent logging or acorn productivity.

So both of you tell us, how could anyone shoot anything when there wasn't many hunting?  

TODAY @ 1:44 PM
Swamp buck
User since 1/23/09

FNB and LL. As passionate as you two are regarding the low deer numbers I would think it best for you both to start a campaign to close all deer hunting in the northern 1/3 of the state. Maybe with your encouragement other hunters will agree and completely quit hunting the northern part  of Wisconsin. It seems the only way to save the deer

TODAY @ 1:20 PM
LittleLuck
User since 2/16/17

I guess a person really shouldn't have to go find another place to hunt if the deer were properly managed. Some people own land or a cabin and have ties or live in an area. I don't think everyone has that option if they want to hunt deer. The deer hunting had been good or decent in the past in the central forest where I have a deer camp with a historic cabin that was established in the 1960s surrounded by thousands of acres of public land Now due to DNR mismanagement I should sell it or abandon it and go hunt somewhere else because there are few deer or I should stop hunting there. Really? I have already tried the adjoining county. I guess I may have to drive every day 100 miles to see  more than a deer or two because it may take another decade or two for the deer to come back in the central forest. Maybe some of you guys on this thread will buy it from me so you can experience to dismal hunting yourself.  If you can see a fair amount of deer where you hunt just feel lucky the dnr hasn't screwed it up yet. Or maybe you have the luxury of hunting  and managing hundreds of acres and taking the dnr out of the equation. Some of us only have the option of hunting public land where we have a cabin.  Or I guess we need to close the season in the northern third of the state because the dnr screwed up for years and still is.

TODAY @ 12:47 PM
Farnorthbadger
User since 12/7/13

Shooting bucks won’t harm the “record” 1.8 million Wisconsin deer population Swamp and I’m currently researching other states .Nebraska or Montana in particular for white tails .I’m looking for fair quality hunts on public land something Wisconsin doesn’t have up north anywhere currently. I’m very much on the fence over putting the time and money into states that want to provide a better quality hunt than what Wisconsin is currently providing . It’s a shame you can’t even have average deer hunting on private land in N Wisconsin nowadays . 

TODAY @ 11:54 AM
Swamp buck
User since 1/23/09

Just a question FNB. If you weren't seeing any deer like you say why would you continue to hunt for the few that are left? Wouldn't it be better to help the problem you are enraged about (low deer numbers) by not hunting? If it were me, I would find a new area to hunt

TODAY @ 10:21 AM
olswampdog
User since 10/6/04

"they stated the success rate was around 15%. That blew me away as I’m not a spearer and was shocked that possibly success rates on spearing sturgeon would or could be higher than harvesting a buck with a rifle in 2019 in the state of Wisconsin . Hats off to to the WDNR  fisheries for taking such good care of that fishery along with so many others  to average success rates that high ."

You do know that's an historical average with high's and low's and are well lower than the deer gun average since the 80's. Or probably not, and you'll probably be ranting at the fish management team for the disasterous overharvest resulting in only a 7% success rate this year. Forget that the conditions weren't conducive to even a mediocre harvest.

TODAY @ 8:24 AM
Farnorthbadger
User since 12/7/13


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?


I have lived up here all my life other than college years OSD. I have hunted all of my life .  I went this entire season , xbow, rifle , muzzie seeing a single deer in the woods . One deer .  My son hunted much more than me and saw a grand total of 3 deer . All season ,on ag, hardwood foodplots private ground . If you lived here and could indeed see with your own two eyes just how devastated the deer population is and especially so if you hunted here ,I think you’d have a much different opinion on how well our WDNR is managing wildlife in Wisconsin. 

On another side note only Wisconsin residents would understand I was watching Fox11 this am and they reported the end of the sturgeon spearing season yada yada yada pretty standard until they stated the success rate was around 15%. That blew me away as I’m not a spearer and was shocked that possibly success rates on spearing sturgeon would or could be higher than harvesting a buck with a rifle in 2019 in the state of Wisconsin . Hats off to to the WDNR  fisheries for taking such good care of that fishery along with so many others  to average success rates that high . Our deer managers .......not so thrilled . Maybe I’ll just keep the boat in the water for a few extra weeks and skip the deer hunting altogether until our WDNR allows the  herd to recover. The best walleye fishing of the year or sitting in the woods seeing nothing is not a hard choice. There might be two fewer rifle tags sold in WI next year if our WDNR deer management team doesn’t get its $#!t together and start managing the deer herd honestly and competently. Fishing here or deer hunting another state ..........decisions.......




TODAY @ 4:14 AM
olswampdog
User since 10/6/04

"If I had to guestimate not even a half of the 1.8"                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So what you are saying is with less than a million whitetails in the state of Wisconsin over half a million die each year and have for many years?

"There will always be a lot of people who really get it and some that don't."

Lol. I couldn't agree with you more. 

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. 

DISPLAYING 1 TO 10 OF 442 POSTS
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