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La Crosse County hunters killed 1,134 deer during the opening weekend of Wisconsin’s nine-day gun deer season, an 18.9 percent decline from last season, when they shot 1,399 deer.

But they might consider themselves lucky compared with their fellow hunters to the south: 1,613 deer were taken Saturday and Sunday in Crawford County, down 28.2 percent from last year’s opening weekend. The blaze orange army had similar success in Vernon County: 2,523 deer killed, down 25.9 percent compared with last year’s opening weekend.

Hunters statewide killed almost 14,000 fewer deer during opening weekend. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources officials say rain and high winds in the southern part of the state likely kept the numbers down.

That’s all according to preliminary data the DNR released Tuesday. Hunters registered 102,903 deer from Saturday through Sunday compared with 116,615 deer during opening weekend in 2016. That’s a statewide decrease of 11.8 percent.

The opening weekend buck kill also was down, from 64,828 last year to 59,142 this year.

Eighteen northern counties saw an increase in the total harvest. The largest increase was in Florence County, which saw registrations jump by 55 percent.

Eau Claire County saw the biggest drop at 35 percent compared with 2016.

The total number of deer killed in Buffalo County was 2,146, down 11.9 percent; 1,464 in Jackson County, down 7.9 percent; 2,207 in Monroe County, down 17.7 percent; and 2,023 in Trempealeau County, down 18.3 percent.

Photos: 2017 deer hunting season


(6) comments

Matt Foley

Your kidding right? We have to register deer. Thought that went out with all the new regs. Actually I didn't get a deer,. How do you think it makes me feel when even a kindergarten shoots a buck.
The protection of albino deer is the most ridiculous hunting law. Why protect an animal with inferior genetics. Shoot them all and get them out of the gene pool. I know some little old ladies up nort' probably wouldn't like " those beautiful deer" shot that everyone wants to post a picture on Facebook. If I see another picture of an albino deer it will be one too many. They are easier to see when they jump in front of your car when you are speeding along at 70 mph during the fall.

Rick Czeczok

One reason is that there are not many farms to hunt on. Many rented out to Chicago and Milwaukee residence. System is really messed up. I used to hunt every year then the farmer died and land was sold, that ended that. Corp. farms have all but destroyed the sport in Wisconsin. Slowly dying sport, at least we will be able eliminate most of the DNR.

union conservative

It has more to do with the tagging and registration system. I wonder how many deer were killed and not registered? The DNR can make excuses for not seeing the numbers of deer but with laws like we have now the numbers can lie.


I think there are numerous factors in play here... Trophy deer management without shooting does, CWD creeping to new areas, lack of hunting pressure forcing deer to move, restrictions to private land access, loosening of deer regulations, bowing to traditonalist and bow hunters to keep the gun season in place after the peak rutting season and of course the backlash from deer kneeling during the national anthem.


Good one!


Outstanding game management by Scooter’s Texas deer czar, who couldn’t find his arse with a map.

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