Prohibitions on hunting antlerless deer, less hunter participation and warm weather may produce lower deer harvest for Wisconsin this season.
The expected deer harvest for the gun opener on Nov. 21 is expected to trend downward again this season.
With unseasonably warm weather, lack of snowfall and a ban on antlerless deer hunting in 12 counties, the gun season will likely see less of a deer harvest. This is further exasperated by a lower purchase of licenses by deer hunters and some of the lowest hunter participation numbers since 1976.
In 2014 the Department of Natural Resources recorded that 609,799 deer licenses were purchased, with only 222,588 deer harvested, the smallest number since 1983.
This year is tracking only about 2,000 more licenses bought-to-date. Low licenses bought, coupled with the antlerless hunting ban on large parts of the state, makes it look like the downward trend will continue in Wisconsin for the deer harvest.