DNR: Nine-day gun deer harvest down 25% from 2018

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FILE – In this Nov. 17, 2011 file photo, a mature white-tailed deer buck stands alertly in a suburban neighborhood in Moreland Hills, Ohio. An Ohio legislative panel on Wednesday signed off on new deer hunting regulations that cut the number of animals that hunters can kill statewide. The rules also eliminate hunting zone areas and set per-county caps on bag limits. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta, File)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — New data from the state Department of Natural Resources shows hunters killed dramatically fewer deer during Wisconsin’s nine-day gun season than last year.

Preliminary figures show hunters killed 160,769 deer over the season that ended Sunday. That’s down 25% from 213,972 deer last year.

DNR officials have said the season started so late this year that hunters missed the rut and deer weren’t moving around. The nine-day season always includes Thanksgiving Day, which fell on the latest possible date this year.

Fewer hunters may have taken to the woods as well. Last year the DNR sold 577,576 licenses that would have allowed a hunter to kill a deer with a gun during Wisconsin’s multiple firearm seasons. This year the department sold 564,664 licenses. It’s impossible to know how many hunters went out during the nine-day either year, however.

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