Wisconsin deer hunt not good
By: Glen Moberg, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Wisconsin’s nine-day gun deer season is over, and although official numbers haven’t been released yet, hunters are calling this one of the worst seasons in recent memory.
Pat Zillman owns Zillman’s Meat Market in Wausau. He says the number of deer brought in by hunters for processing is only about half of what it was last year. He says the season started bad, and didn’t improve. Zillman says opening weekend had warm, foggy weather, and he’s seen a 45 percent drop in business.
Opening weekend numbers were down about 25 percent from last year according to the Department of Natural Resources. And although numbers for the entire nine-day season won’t be available until mid-week, Zillman says many hunters are complaining. He says big groups of hunters that would normally get eight to 10 deer only harvested two or three deer this year.
And Zillman says there’s been a double whammy for charity food programs, fewer deer harvested, and more hunters deciding to keep what they shoot.
Some are crediting, or blaming, the DNR’s herd management practices for the apparent drop in deer numbers. The Earn-a-Buck program is designed to reduce the doe population, and keep the state’s herd size smaller, by forcing hunters to shoot female deer before they can shoot bucks.