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2019 Gun Deer Final Numbers

12/3/19 @ 1:08 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.  

2/29/20 @ 9:50 AM
User since 10/6/04


2/29/20 @ 9:22 AM
User since 12/7/13

Those post harvest numbers are indisputable facts JKB. We could all argue population estimates of plus or minus 15% to 20% off of them and I’d agree completely .100% to 120% inflated pre hunt population estimates using SAK is just plain dishonest deer management in this state .

2/28/20 @ 4:31 PM
User since 12/7/13

JKB you yourself just recently posted that  we don’t have as many deer now as we did in the early 2000s . It was in an erased post to JC telling him how to successfully hunt the low deer population   in the northern forest . How could we have less deer in 2019 than we did in the early 2000s and still possibly have 1.8 million deer statewide? The total harvest numbers compared from those record years to 2019 prove that conclusively . 

2/28/20 @ 10:13 AM
User since 12/7/13

I was curious to see how our 2019 deer harvest rates correlated to historic deer kills after seeing OSDs graphs .It made me want to see the population estimates compared to total deer kills per year historically. What I came up with is that we killed a total of 284,933 deer in this state last year . That is a smidge lower than the 1984 totals of 294,617 but is probably the closest match in history. I think it does give us a pretty accurate snapshot of what our populations were going into and out of that year . It also proves beyond any doubt that we most likely had somewhere in the range of a million deer or less in the state going into the 2019 hunting season. If you factor in how controlled antlerless harvest was in 1985 vs the free for all we have today you could make a really good argument that we have a lower population now and are harvesting more does . A statewide population of 900,000 deer shows that we had around 16 deer per square mile which would make sense . That would put us in upper teens in the southern 2/3s of the state and around 10 deer per square mile in the northern third going into hunting season 2019. I don’t think anyone here would or could argue those numbers based on what they saw hunting , the kill numbers are factual and back that up 100%.  How much more conservatively would CDACs  vote on harvest numbers if the deer population numbers were at all accurate? 

2/26/20 @ 10:05 PM
User since 6/20/13

Thanks for posting the information about Senate bill 3140 to help get wolf management back under the appropriate State agencies.. I was happy to see that Senator Johnson was a co-sponsor and I would hope this gets a lot of support by the hunting/farming community in the state.. I have shared and passed along information to all my hunting buddies and local sportsman club and would hope other LL members do the same..  

2/26/20 @ 9:33 PM
User since 11/15/06

You bet, thanks for the support Gents!

2/26/20 @ 8:01 PM
User since 12/14/14

Excellent LUVtheOTDRS, been looking for info for the last week. Ron Johnson would be our state rep contact. I sent it to all my contacts.

This would make a significant difference in the north after a few years.

Thanks again for the info.

2/26/20 @ 7:57 PM
User since 11/28/07


2/26/20 @ 7:16 PM
User since 11/15/06

JC (and everyone else!),

You mentioned the lack of info to support the Wolf Delisting bill. Go to and sign the petition please! I urge every last one of you on this thread to do the same! We’re SO close now! Every single signature could have an impact. 

2/26/20 @ 4:56 PM
User since 12/7/13

Does anyone have final 2019 deer harvest numbers all seasons buck and doe ? Are the final numbers out yet? 

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