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DNR numbers show larger deer harvest

La Crosse, Wis. (WXOW) – The numbers are in for the just completed nine day gun deer season in Wisconsin.

Those numbers show a seven percent increase in deer killed over last year with no serious injuries among hunters.

The DNR says hunters killed 211,430 deer during the season that ended Sunday. Conservation officers say the temperatures really helped make the hunting season a good one in our area.

“We had a little bit of snow cover,” Conservation Warden Dal Houchhausen said. “It wasn’t really cold. It was a little bit below 30 degrees which really helped with the deer hunting activity and the rut was a little bit later this year.”

“So I did see a lot more bucks that were harvested on that opening weekend,” he added.

Hunters had the most success in Marathon county with 7,600 deer taken. Hunters in La Crosse county killed about 2,500 deer, that’s up 23 percent from 2017.

The season also turned out to be one of the safest gun deer seasons in the state’s history.

Only three hunters suffered non-fatal shooting injuries during the hunt that began Nov. 17. Houchhausen credits it to hunters taking extra care when out in the fields.

“Now that we have the mandatory hunter education requirements, people are getting a little more education on the safe way to handle firearms,” he explained. “Also, I don’t think there’s as many deer drives taking place like it used to be. Sometimes those usually had more of a chance of an incident happening out there.”

The Journal Sentinel reports there hasn’t been a shooting fatality during a Wisconsin gun deer season since 2015, when there were three.

The agency hasn’t released a final tally of gun deer license sales, but 570,000 hunters were expected to participate this season.

More hunting seasons are on the horizon, but conservation officials urge everyone to look at which counties they will be held in as all are not statewide.

Jeremy Culver

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