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Wednesday...Temperatures will range from a high of 46 to a low of 44 degrees with clear skies. Winds will range between 7 and 7 miles per hour from the westsouthwest. No precipitation is expected.
...$dailyWea.get(0).segments.get($o).statement
Overnight ...Temperatures will range from 46 to 44 degrees with clear skies. Winds will remain steady around 7 miles per hour from the southwest. No precipitation is expected.
Wednesday...Temperatures will range from a high of 69 to a low of 44 degrees with partly cloudy skies. Winds will range between 5 and 14 miles per hour from the northeast. No precipitation is expected.
Bri Johnson, age 12, is the youngest of three girls in her family. This was a good year for Bri as she has now scored a double first of sorts. In this, her first year of hunting, she bagging this fine buck while hunting with her dad, James Johnson, and she also bagged her first ever turkey during the 2012 spring wild turkey hunt.

Bri Johnson, age 12, is the youngest of three girls in her family. This was a good year for Bri as she has now scored a double first of sorts. In this, her first year of hunting, she bagging this fine buck while hunting with her dad, James Johnson, and she also bagged her first ever turkey during the 2012 spring wild turkey hunt. Photo By DNR

The nine-day deer hunt closes, but heritage grows

Nov. 29, 2012 | 0 comments

MADISON

Wisconsin’s deer hunting heritage lives and grows through the sharing of hunting stories. If each licensed hunter created one new story to share at camp this year, there are 633,460 new stories to pass along, with over 243,000 of them ending with the harvest of a deer.

This year’s preliminary tally indicates 243,739 deer were registered by gun deer hunters between Nov. 17 and Nov. 26.

"It’s great to see the level of hunter participation that we do in Wisconsin, and equally as great to see that more hunters had success than last year," said Kevin Wallenfang, DNR Big Game ecologist.

"I’ve talked to several hunters that saw more deer than in past years in much of the state but also to some who saw less. So there are areas where deer observations were low, as we knew there would be. This sort of feedback, along with the harvest numbers, is important as we continue to work with hunters to best manage deer populations in the state."

The preliminary nine-day harvest numbers are collected through a call-around survey of 600-plus deer registration stations all across Wisconsin and likely will increase when all registration tags are officially counted. This year’s preliminary harvest totals are up 7.7 percent from 2011.

The preliminary tally showed hunters harvested 114, 822 bucks and 128,917 antlerless deer. This compared to 2011 preliminary harvest figures of 102,837 bucks and 123,423 antlerless, for a 12 percent and 4 percent increase respectively.

"Once again Wisconsin was the deer hunting destination for hundreds of thousands of hunters. Hunting is about family, friends, fun and tradition. More than 600,000 people were out connecting with the land, and in doing so renewed their commitment to sustaining our natural resources for generations to come," said DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp.

Of the total number of licenses purchased this year, nearly 29,000 were First Time Buyer licenses. New female hunters represented 33 percent of this total, and another 33 percent of first time buyers were youth, ages 17 and under.

Additionally, 80 First Time Buyer licenses were sold to hunters 80 and older.

"Seeing so many new buyers, along with some returning or new hunters over the age of 80, illustrates how deep our deer hunting heritage runs," Stepp said. "Getting women and youth involved in hunting is essential for continuing our state’s hunting heritage. When women and moms are involved, the family follows."

LATE SEASONS NOW OPEN

There are additional opportunities to hunt deer in Wisconsin after the close of the nine-day season. The muzzleloader season is currently open through Dec. 5.

The late archery season is also underway and continues until Jan. 6, 2013.

There is also a statewide antlerless hunt Dec. 6-9, and a holiday hunt in the Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) zones of south central Wisconsin, which starts Dec. 24 and runs until Jan. 6, 2013.

More information is available at www.dnr.wi.gov — search keyword "deer" for more information on season dates and regulations.

ONE SHOOTING FATALITY

This year seven shooting-related incidents were reported and one was fatal.

"Our sincere condolences go to the family and friends of the fatally injured hunter. Any shooting-related fatality — or injury for that matter — is one too many," said Conservation Warden Jon King, hunter education administrator.

However overall hunter safety has increased over the years, said King. Total reported incidents for 2012 is below the 10-year average, which is nine.

"Statistically we have continued our safe hunting tradition. But for me to truly consider a deer season a 100 percent successful, all hunters would have returned home unharmed," said Stepp. "And that’s a goal we all should continue to strive for."

More than 25,000 students complete the hunter’s safety program every year, thanks to the work of more than 3,800 volunteer hunter education instructors. Wisconsin marked its one-millionth graduate in 2012. Before the hunter education course started, hunter fatalities during the season commonly ran into double digits.

"As always, we want to remind hunters participating in the remaining seasons to remember and follow the four rules of firearm safety or TAB-K," said King. "Treat any firearm as if it is loaded, always point the muzzle in a safe direction, be certain of your target and what’s beyond, and keep your finger outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot."

DEER SURVEY

Hunters are being asked to participate in and online Deer Hunter Wildlife Survey.

The Deer Hunter Wildlife Survey (http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/wildlifehabitat/wlsurvey.html) is still active until the end of all deer seasons and wildlife managers are asking hunters to send in a report of what they saw during the just completed nine-day gun hunt and during any hunting trips they make through the end of all deer hunting seasons.

This information provides valuable data biologists can use to help provide an additional human element to the completed deer season.

Wisconsin’s 161st nine-day gun deer season may be over, but sharing stories of the hunt keeps the memories going, and builds the anticipation for the 2013 deer season.

In addition to sharing stories with family and friends, hunters can share their stories with more than 9,000 friends on the DNR’s Facebook page.

Several videos capturing stories of the season can also be viewed on the DNR’s YouTube channel. One video highlights deer tales (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYt909Yq6yg&feature=share&list=PL4FBCCF9D4ABFD788) from hunters this season.

People can join the DNR’s Facebook conversation by visiting Facebook.com/widnr.

A suite of deer hunting videos can be watched at www.youtube.com/WIDNRTV.

Additional information on the 2012 deer season, and continuing deer hunting opportunities, can be found by visiting dnr.wi.gov, search keyword "deer."

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