Though opening weekend temperatures were cold, more than 615,000 people bought deer licenses to go out hunting, nearly 27,000 of them buying licenses to go out hunting for the first time. Many hunters went out with hopes of getting a deer, knowing that despite extremely cold temperatures, they would likely all be guaranteed the making of warm memories.
Though hunters define success in different ways, 110,797 deer were successfully harvested and registered in Wisconsin during the opening weekend of the nine-day deer season. The tally is based on preliminary call-in numbers collected from registration stations by Department of Natural Resources staff.
"Congratulations to all hunters who endured the cold and were able to harvest a deer opening weekend of the nine-day. Though getting a deer is often the ultimate goal, it's the whole experience of spending time with friends and family, engaging in the traditions, and getting outdoors that makes the hunt so fun, even if a deer is not brought home," said DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp. "I hope those that weren't able to get a deer during the season opener will get back out there and enjoy the rest of the days of the season."
Hunters in Kewaunee County took 686 bucks and 440 antlerless deer for a total of 1,126.
The preliminary statewide count of 110,797 is down 17.8 percent from last year's opening weekend tally of 134,772. The preliminary buck harvest for the 2013 opening weekend is down 25 percent at 53,865 (71,989 in 2012). The preliminary antlerless harvest is down 9 percent at 56,932 (62,783 in 2012).