Hunters in Door County registered 29 percent more deer this year than they did during last year's gun-deer season. In Kewaunee County the harvest was up 28 percent.
That's according to preliminary numbers released Tuesday by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
Door County hunters registered 1,427 bucks and 1,194 antlerless deer during the recently-completed nine-day season for a total of 2,621 deer. That compares to 1,113 bucks, 923 antlerless and 2,036 total deer in 2011.
The increase in Kewaunee County was virtually the same, with 1,593 deer harvested last year and 2,042 taken this year.
Statewide, the increase from 2011 to 2012 was less pronounced, with registrations up 7.7 percent, from 226,260 in 2011 to 243,739 in 2012.
[View the statewide totals and the county by county breakdown here]
"It's great to see the level of hunter participation that we do in Wisconsin, and equally as great to see that more hunters had success than last year," said Kevin Wallenfang, DNR big game ecologist. "I've talked to several hunters that saw more deer than in past years in much of the state but also to some who saw less. So there are areas where deer observations were low, as we knew there would be. This sort of feedback, along with the harvest numbers, is important as we continue to work with hunters to best manage deer populations in the state."
The preliminary nine-day harvest numbers are collected through a call-around survey of 600-plus deer registration stations across Wisconsin and likely will increase when all registration tags are officially counted.
This year seven shooting related incidents were reported, one was fatal.
The DNR's Deer Hunter Wildlife Survey is still active until the end of all deer seasons and wildlife managers are asking hunters to send in a report of what they saw during the just completed nine-day gun hunt and during any hunting trips they make through the end of all deer hunting seasons. This information provides valuable data biologists can use to help provide an additional human element to the completed deer season.
[Pictured: Chris Konop]