Wisconsin DNR: 2022 Deer Harvest up 14.4%

MADISON, Wis. – The 2022 gun deer hunt in Wisconsin kicked off the holiday season with plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors, put delicious, wild-harvested protein on the table and make memories with family and friends. Preliminary harvest registration, license sales, and hunting incident numbers are now available.

Preliminary Registration Totals

Preliminary figures show that hunters registered 203,295 deer during the 2022 gun deer season, including 98,397 antlered and 104,898 antlerless deer. Since archery seasons opened on Sept. 17, hunters have registered 301,540 deer statewide. Compared to 2021, the total firearm deer harvest was up 14.4% statewide, with the antlered harvest up 14.7% and antlerless harvest up 14.1%.

All four deer management zones showed harvest increases from 2021 for both antlered and antlerless harvests:

The Central Forest Zone (+30.6%) saw the most significant increase, with the Northern Forest Zone (+19.3%) also seeing a considerable increase. The Central Farmland Zone was up 13.5%, while the Southern Farmland Zone was up 10.2%.

The Central Farmland Zone in Adams County led the state with over 12 deer registered per square mile. Vernon County led the Southern Farmland Zone with almost seven deer registered per square mile. The Central Forest Zone in Eau Claire County registered 4.8 deer per square mile. Taylor County registered the most per square mile in the Northern Forest Zone at four.

Preliminary License Sales Totals

As of 11:59pm, Sunday, November 27th, sales for gun, bow, crossbow, sports, and patron licenses reached 795,072. Of that total, 436,423 were for gun privileges only, and 554,898 were for all gun privileges including gun, sports, and patron licenses. The year-to-date sales for all deer licenses are down 1.6% from the same time last year.

Of the licenses sold to date, 63% were purchased online. The remaining 37% were sold in-person through transactions at DNR license agent locations. Deer hunting license and harvest authorization sales will continue throughout the remaining deer hunting seasons.

This year, licenses were sold to hunters in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. Additionally, hunters came from 21 different countries to deer hunt in Wisconsin.

Gun Deer Season Hunting Incidents

At the publication time of this news release, the DNR reports eight firearm-involved injuries and one fatality for the entire 2022 gun deer season.

The average hunting incidents per year for the last 10 gun deer seasons (2013-2022) is 6.4. In addition, there were zero fatalities in 6 of those 10 years.

Wardens remind all hunters to use the four firearm safety rules as a cornerstone for safe and successful outings:

1. Treat every firearm as if it is loaded.

2. Always point the barrel/muzzle in a safe direction.

3. Be certain of your target, what’s before it, and what’s beyond it.

4. Keep your finger outside your trigger guard until you are ready to shoot.

More tips for Safe Hunting in Wisconsin are available HERE.