MADISON, Wis. (WMDX) – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says that hunters took in 16% fewer deer on the opening weekend of the gun deer hunting season than last year.
According to figures released by the DNR Tuesday, the opening-weekend harvest was 92,050 deer, down from 103,623 last year.
The DNR said that the total from this year is also down 10% from the five-year average harvest.
DNR officials said that warmer temperatures and an earlier start this year may have been a factor in the lower harvest. The DNR reported that deer license sales were down 0.61% from a year ago at 774,369.
Of the 92,050 deer harvested on opening weekend, 51,870 were bucks. That’s down from 56,638 bucks taken last year on opening weekend, a drop of 13%.
The DNR said that there were two shooting incidents on opening weekend. One was in Forest County, where a 53-year-old man shot himself in the foot by accident and was taken to the hospital. Another was in Adams County, where a 62-year-old man shot at a dog that he thought was a deer. The bullet hit a 47-year-old woman who was walking the dog, and she was flown to a hospital for an injury to her abdomen. Last year, there were six shooting incidents on opening weekend.
The DNR said that a drop in temperatures and continued dry weather will result in good hunting conditions for the rest of the gun deer hunting season, which ends on Sunday.