New tallies from the state Department of Natural Resources show hunters took about 7,500 fewer deer on opening day of Wisconsin’s nine-day gun deer season than they did last year.
Preliminary figures show hunters killed 68,756 deer on Saturday. That’s down 7,467 deer from the 76,223 deer they killed on opening day last year.
The harvest in northern Wisconsin, where the herd is recovering from harsh winters, was up from last year. Hunters in that region killed 12,330 deer on Saturday compared with 10,071 last year.
About 17,000 fewer hunters had purchased gun licenses by opening day than by opening day last year. According to the agency’s count, 533,502 hunters had purchased licenses as of 4 p.m. Friday compared with 550,756 hunters by the same time last year.