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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 493 POSTS
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2/25/20 @ 10:15 PM
jkb
User since 6/25/02

I don’t disagree with you on that Little Luck.  My boys would not be able to sit for days without seeing deer.  It took me 8 years to figure out north woods deer and I spent many seasons doing more musky fishing than gun hunting.

My brother in law who has since passed away wrote an article for Deer and Deerhunti g magazine in around 2010 on hunting small woodlots.  He basically said you have to provide a sanctuary or safe haven if you expect to hold mature bucks on your land.  There was a thick portion of the 40 that deer used for a bedding area and no one entered that area.  If a deer went in to it while being wounded only one person would sneak in to check.

He also emphasized never entering the woods with the wind at your back.  These things are important when a deer can move out of your hunting area very quickly.  Too much pressure and they will leave permanently.  I’m not saying this is happening in your case but you have to be extra careful when there are fewer deer and fewer possible targets.

2/25/20 @ 9:21 PM
LittleLuck
User since 2/16/17

JKB,

Unfortunately I don't believe the dnr trying to add more or longer seasons will interest kids in getting into deer hunting or staying in deer hunting if they don't see deer. The ONLY thing I believe that will get kids interested and and keep them will be to have a reasonable deer population where a kid can see some deer, get excited maybe have the opportunity to shoot one, and look forward to the next time. I have a 12 year old nephew and a 16 year old niece if they see no deer almost every time or have no confidence in seeing one they lose the desire to hunt. It's the nature of kids, just remember when you were a kid.



2/25/20 @ 9:13 PM
olswampdog
User since 10/6/04

Well then LL perhaps we should converse more via messenger and we can discuss both our observed weaknesses in the SAK methods and what would be needed to correct them. You might even be able to answer a few questions I have with it.

2/25/20 @ 8:59 PM
LittleLuck
User since 2/16/17

OSD I appreciate your offer to give me data for counties I hunt. But I already have a pile of it all in my office about 2 feet high with all the information anyone would want to know going back to the 1960s for the areas I hunt and many other areas in the state. I have kill data, metrics of all types since they began measuring them, cwd data, etc.  I am a scientist with a very strong background in conservation and am very good at interpreting data and running statistics. I have given a lot of input to local dnr biologists as wells as the top dnr biologists in Madison. I have given a lot of information to the CDACs. I have looked at SAK extensively and have talked on numerous occasions to the DNR about the flaws and inaccuracies. The dnr has been constantly trying to tweak, manipulate, supposedly tried to fix it to make it more accurate for many years to no avail, yet they keep using it. This is just not sound science. And it has a tremendous effect on the decline of the deer population in this state. No I have never said the weather, the corn harvest, the time of the rut, greedy hunters, etc.  are the fault of the dnr. These are variables every year. I don't have a problem with the dnr using these excuses for one or two years but when these excuses are constant excuses for 15 years for low kill numbers, I and thousands of others are tired of it. Especially when they are trying to use constant excuses to help cover up their mismanagement of deer for many years by continually using highly inaccurate and inflated deer population guestimates. The main reason why the deer populations are low in many areas is years of mismanagement by the dnr by issuing way too many doe tags(yes hunters who like to kill will kill the last deer in the county if they have a tag for it, so the solution is not to issue the tags in the first place when not needed). They also are not taking into consideration of harsh winter or the potential for them or predation in their management decisions. They are still relying way too much on SAK and passing this inaccurate information to CDACs which can influence their decisions wrongly.

2/25/20 @ 7:52 PM
Wicasa
Wicasa
User since 11/11/15

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


2/25/20 @ 7:43 PM
samfox
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.

2/25/20 @ 6:05 PM
olswampdog
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.

2/25/20 @ 6:04 PM
jkb
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.

2/25/20 @ 4:31 PM
JC-Wisconsin
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.

2/25/20 @ 4:07 PM
jkb
User since 6/25/02

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

DISPLAYING 1 TO 10 OF 493 POSTS
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