Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Early returns on deer stubs and hunter self-survey indicate hunters are “seeing deer”

MADISON – Hunters report seeing between one to three deer per hunting trip during the early hunting seasons.

The data come from a preliminary count of deer registration stubs and new Department of
Natural Resources online hunter observation reports through October 28.

“Every successful hunter must fill out a Deer Harvest Information stub when they register their kill,” said Keith Warnke, DNR big game ecologist. “This year, there are blanks on the stub asking whether or not the deer was killed on public or private land, the number of deer seen on the day of the kill, the numbers of hours hunted on the day of the kill and weather conditions.”

With only a portion of registration stubs entered and much hunting still to come, officials emphasize that these numbers will almost certainly change.

The early tally of successful hunters shows 31,470 trips reported and 95,229 hours hunted; 92,029 deer were seen for an average sighting of one deer per hour hunted and two-and-half to three deer seen per trip. Overall weather ratings were reported as six on a 10-point scale with one being worst and 10 best.

Hunters filing voluntary hunter observation reports logged 3,430 trips 12,904 hours hunted and one-and-a-half to two deer seen per trip. Information on the Wisconsin Deer Hunter Wildlife Survey is available on the DNR Web site.

The eastern and southern farmland areas [PDF 294KB] saw the most hunting trips (9,659 and 9,940 respectively) by successful hunters. The greatest number of hunter field observation reports also came from eastern farmland (1,056 reports filed) and southern farmland (932 reports filed).

In both categories, hunters in the western farmland saw the most deer with 3.47 deer observed per trip for successful hunters and 2.09 deer observed per trip in the field observation reports.
Anticipated drop in harvest

As wildlife managers expected, preliminary registration returns entered through Nov. 5 show a decreased total archery harvest (about 31,000 in 2008 vs. about 22,000 in 2009).

“The archery antlerless harvest in this time period dropped by about 39 percent and the buck harvest climbed by about 7 percent,” said Warnke. “This was expected due mainly to fewer herd control units and no Earn a Buck outside of the CWD management zone.”

Antlerless registrations during the October antlerless gun hunt in herd control units were down also with about 11,000 deer registrations in the database in 2009 compared to about 26,000 by this date in 2008.

There are one-third fewer herd control units this year and no earn-a-buck requirements outside the CWD Zone thus, hunter opportunity to participate in the October gun hunt was more limited this year according to wildlife officials.

The registration numbers will most certainly change, say wildlife managers, as more stubs are entered.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Keith Warnke - (608) 264-6023 or Bob Manwell - (608) 2649248
Source: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

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