Wausau Pilot & Review
The WisconsinEye Public Affairs Network this week reports that the state’s deer harvest is down so far in 2021 compared to 2020.
On Tuesday, as reported by WisPolitics.com, Eric Lobner, DNR’s Wildlife Management Program director, in a virtual news conference said the opening weekend gun deer harvest this year is down about 14 percent compared to last year.
Gun deer hunters during the opening weekend of the nine-day season harvested 85,860 deer this year compared to the 99,832 deer harvested during opening weekend last year. The gun deer season began last Saturday and runs through this Sunday.
Overall deer hunting license sales were also down by 1.5 percent compared to the same time last year, with 795,039 licenses sold as of Sunday. Lobner said Wisconsin continues to be a key destination for out-of-state hunters, noting an increase so far of 2,000 out-of-state hunters compared to last year. That’s a 3.8 percent increase in the number of non-resident hunters coming to Wisconsin, he said.
Lobner said a nationwide ammunition shortage may have given some hunters pause before pulling their triggers on deer this year, though he added the shortage likely did not deter hunters from buying licenses.