With nearly all the numbers now in, Minnesota hunters shot about 137,200 deer during the 16 days of firearms deer hunting statewide, the Department of Natural Resources reported Tuesday. That’s down 6.8% from the 148,141 deer shot and registered in 2018.
Overall deer hunting license sales stood at 427,718 as of Tuesday, down about 2% from 2018. Including deer shot by archers, there have been 166,423 deer registered in Minnesota so far this year. The state’s muzzleloader rifle deer season starts Saturday and runs through Dec. 15.
Meanwhile in Wisconsin, 90,286 deer were harvested by gun and registered statewide during the opening weekend of the firearms deer hunt in 2019, down 26.7% compared to 123,090 in 2018. A total of 46,866 bucks were registered on opening weekend, down nearly 21% compared to 67,636 in 2018.
"In 2018, we held the earliest possible deer season followed by the latest possible season in 2019. This occurred between the 2012-13 and 2007-08 seasons as well, and we saw similar declines in opening weekend registration totals," said DNR big-game ecologist Kevin Wallenfang.
Wisconsin DNR officials reported selling 555,227 firearms deer hunting licenses through Sunday, on par with 2018.