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Deer opener a success in Wisconsin

By Kelsie Hoitomt

According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, 614,435 gun deer licenses were sold by midnight on November 16.

Nearly 26,000 new hunters also bought licenses to deer hunt for the first time or for the first time in 10 years this year.

 Females represented 32 percent of resident First Time Gun Deer licenses and 30 percent of residents bought First Time Junior Gun Deer licenses.

“I find this statistic particularly exciting. If we get the women involved in hunting, we get the family involved. It is so important to be getting youth out there in the tree stand. We will all be looking to them to keep our wonderful hunting heritage alive. But I also want to recognize that 66 first time licenses were sold to hunters 80 and older. The involvement of so many generations in the deer hunt truly illustrates how deep the deer hunting tradition runs in Wisconsin,” shared DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp.

The preliminary opening weekend results by deer registration call-in show that in St. Croix County, 659 bucks were harvested and 785 antlerless were harvested.

This is a 21 percent difference/increase from the 2011-2012 season for bucks harvested and a 40 percent difference/increase from the 2011-2012 season for antlerless harvested.

In Dunn County, there were 1,533 bucks harvested and 1878 antlerless harvested in 2012. This is a difference/increase of 42 percent in bucks harvested and a 27 percent difference/increase in antlerless harvested from the 2011-2012 season.

There were 134,772 deer successfully harvested and registered in the state during the opening weekend. This amount is based on preliminary call-in numbers collected from registration stations by DNR staff.

The DNR shared that on the Friday before opening weekend, deer license sales peaked at 200 licenses sold every minute. 105,948 licenses were sold Friday before the season opener which is a record one-day sale.

Only three hunting related injuries were reported including a self-inflicted injury and two were two-party incidents which occurred in Columbia, Manitowoc and Portage County and are still under investigation. Additionally, Fort McCoy authorities are investigating the death of a hunter on the military base.