By Adam Roberts – 11/24/2020
Clearly, people have been looking for an excuse to get out in nature. Given the mantra of staying home as the best way to prevent COVID-19, the itch to hit the woods for the gun deer season was likely to be strong this fall, and the numbers don’t lie.
Preliminary figures from the Wisconsin DNR show that 810,233 deer licenses across all weapons have been administered as of November 23rd, up 3.2 percent from last year. Of those 810,00-plus, 559,591 were for gun privileges only. Harvest numbers also indicate an uptick in deer activity; in total the DNR reports that 95,257 deer were harvested by gun during opening weekend, up from 93,155 in 2019. The 2020 total includes 49,025 bucks, up about 800 from last year. Several factors likely contributed to the uptick, including excellent hunting conditions with cool temperatures, high visibility and low wind which countered the lack of snow for tracking and frozen marshlands for increased land access.
The 169th Wisconsin gun deer season continues through November 29th. For more details on opening weekend, visit the DNR’s press release.