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ARCHIVED Weekly News Published November 22, 2016

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

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

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2016 Deer Hunter Wildlife Survey Preliminary Results

Contact(s): Jes Rees-Lohr, DNR research scientist, 608-221-6349

MADISON - Hunters are reminded to fill out a Deer Hunter Wildlife Survey during the excitement of the nine-day gun season and play an important role in wildlife management.

This survey provides a great opportunity for hunters to let Department of Natural Resources staff which types of animals they see (or do not see) in the wild. Thanks to the continued efforts of hunters, department staff can better track population changes and improve management decisions, especially for animals that are very hard to monitor. Hunters are encouraged to record all hunting activity, even if no wildlife sightings occur during a hunt.

In the first two months of the survey, deer hunters have recorded 477 trips, observing 210 bucks, 374 does, 306 fawns, and 73 unknowns. Turkeys and ruffed grouse are the next most commonly seen animals while hunting.

At the end of each year, survey participants receive a personalized summary of all recorded wildlife. To access the survey webpage, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keywords "deer hunter wildlife." Tally sheets can be filled out either electronically or printed directly from the site. The current survey period ends January 2017.

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Read more: Previous Weekly News

Last Revised: Tuesday, November 22, 2016




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