As reported by WisPolitics.com, Wisconsin gun deer hunters harvested 14,979 fewer deer during this year's nine day gun deer season than last year. Gun deer hunters this year took 175,667 deer while hunters last year took 190,646 deer. During Tuesday's media briefing, the Department of Natural Resources State Deer Program Specialist Jeff Pritzl said it's too early to know for sure why the overall harvest is down and why certain management zones saw a significant harvest reduction. Pritzl added hunters shifting toward taking deer in earlier-starting seasons, such as archery and crossbow seasons, could be driving the drop in gun deer harvest numbers. Gun deer licenses this year were down to 564,440 from 569,203 last year. Non-resident issued licenses increased by 3,317 from last year, bringing the total to 55,647 this year. Archery and crossbow harvests have increased each year since 2018, but it's too early to tell if this season continues the trend because the 2021 season doesn't end until Jan. 9. The southern farmland management zone saw deer hunters take 17 percent fewer deer this year than last year, the biggest harvest drop across all management zones.

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