Preliminary deer harvest numbers show 103,623 deer were registered statewide during the opening weekend of the 2022 gun deer hunt, compared to the 90,023 registered for the same period in 2021. This is a 15.1% increase over 2021 and is on par with the average opening weekend harvest.
A total of 56,638 bucks were registered on opening weekend, compared to 49,721 in 2021. This is a 13.9% increase over 2021 and is 2% above the 5-year average.
Preliminary figures also indicate that the number of deer hunters in Wisconsin decreased compared to 2021.
The statewide muzzleloader season continues to Dec. 7; the statewide antlerless-only four-day season Dec. 8-11 and antlerless holiday hunts in select farmland zone counties continue later in December.
As of midnight Nov. 20, sales for gun, bow, crossbow, sports and patron licenses reached 779,123. Of that total, 421,474 were for gun privileges only. The year-to-date sales for all deer licenses are down 2% from the same time last year.
The number of conservation patron licenses sold to date in 2022 is 2.2% higher than all conservation patron licenses sold in 2021. Of the total licenses sold, 62% were sold online, and 38% were sold in-person by DNR license agents and DNR service centers, which includes private businesses across the state.
Final license sales figures will be available in January.