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Positive feedback from hunters in the field highlights Wisconsin's 165th opening weekend of gun deer hunting

Published by Central Office November 22, 2016

Contact(s): Kevin Wallenfang, DNR big game ecologist, 608-261-7589; Kimberly Currie, DNR Customer and Outreach Services Bureau, 608-267-7799; Jon King, DNR hunter education specialist, 608-575-2294; Sawyer Briel, DNR communications, 608-282-5334

MADISON - Nearly 600,000 hunters donned blaze orange attire and headed into the outdoors for opening weekend of the annual nine-day gun deer hunt in Wisconsin.

"From all accounts, it was a great opening weekend, despite very high winds which many hunters said reduced deer activity," said Kevin Wallenfang, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources big game ecologist. "Conditions and deer movement improved on Sunday, and the hunters that department staff talked to were in good spirits and took home some nice deer."

License Sales

As of opening morning, 575,363 gun deer licenses had been sold, compared to 591,783 gun deer licenses as of opening day in 2015.

Preliminary Registration Totals

Hunters found success during opening weekend, with 64,311 bucks registered using the GameReg system, compared to 62,903 in 2015. In total, 115,640 deer have been registered through opening weekend of the gun deer hunt in 2016, compared to 120,276 during the opening weekend in 2015.

Hunter must register their deer by 5 p.m. the day after harvest. For more information on current registration and license sales numbers, search keywords "weekly totals."

GameReg

The GameReg internet registration system and call-in phone option are working well overall, and hunters have continued to visit walk-in stations that offer these services. Overwhelming positive feedback was received throughout opening weekend as hunters enjoy GameReg's convenience in its second year.

Wallenfang said hunters who forgot to register their deer are still required to do so, even if beyond the 5 p.m. daily deadline. "Harvest registration is the most important information that we collect," he said. "If hunters want us to know what's happening and make the best management decisions possible, they need to comply with this requirement."

For more information, search keywords "gamereg."

Opening Weekend Hunting Accidents

DNR investigated three non-fatal (Waukesha and Taylor counties) hunting incidents during opening weekend. Through the continued efforts of hunters and hunter education volunteers, Wisconsin remains a safe place to hunt, and hunters are reminded to follow the Four Rules of Firearm Safety (TAB-K):

K9 "Grizzly": Warden Ben Mott's trusty (and pretty cute) partner.
K9 "Grizzly": Warden Ben Mott's trusty (and pretty cute) partner.
Photo Credit: DNR

To learn more about safe hunting in Wisconsin, search keywords "safety tips."

Wisconsin's hunters share their weekend with DNR staff

Pictures and stories from all over Wisconsin have continued to flood in as hunters share their experiences. Be sure to follow DNR on Facebook and Twitter for more updates, photos and stories throughout gun deer season.

A smile as wide as the spread! First gun-deer buck for Landon Wisnor in Monroe County
A smile as wide as the spread! First gun-deer buck for Landon Wisnor in Monroe County
Photo Credit: Contributed
Faith Specht of Howards Grove harvested her first deer with a perfect shot on a spike buck while hunting in Price County with her dad Eric.
Faith Specht of Howards Grove harvested her first deer with a perfect shot on a spike buck while hunting in Price County with her dad Eric.
Photo Credit: Contributed
Winder hunted opening morning with a friend who introduced him to hunting and as you can see - he's a natural! Congrats Winder and a big thanks to your friend for taking the time to share his passion for the outdoors.
Winder hunted opening morning with a friend who introduced him to hunting and as you can see - he's a natural! Congrats Winder and a big thanks to your friend for taking the time to share his passion for the outdoors.
Photo Credit: Contributed
It's a family affair! The Hadfield family creates deer season memories with one another near Germantown.
It's a family affair! The Hadfield family creates deer season memories with one another near Germantown.
Photo Credit: Contributed
The Kirkendoll family pose with Michael Jr.'s first deer near Kettle Moraine
The Kirkendoll family pose with Michael Jr.'s first deer near Kettle Moraine.
Photo Credit: Contributed
Last Revised: Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Contact information

For more information about news and media, contact:
James Dick
Director of Communications
608-267-2773