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Deer hunt tally smaller after first weekend than last year

Wisconsin hunters shot 18-percent fewer deer than a year ago in the opening weekend of the state's nine-day gun season. 

The DNR said yesterday that 110, 797 deer were taken statewide.  The buck harvest was down 25-percent to almost 54,000.  The antlerless harvest was down by nine-percent.  Wildlife officials said cold weather probably drove many hunters out of the woods early.  It was close to 10-below on Sunday morning in the northwest part of the state.  Also, the DNR said it issued its fewest antlerless permits in northern Wisconsin since the 1990's, to try and grow the herd in the Northwoods.  The numbers of hunters went up slightly. 

The DNR sold almost 616,000 deer licenses as of midnight on Friday night.  That was about 1,400 more permits than last year.  Governor Scott Walker went hunting yesterday morning, and said it was probably too cold to see any deer.  His office said Walker has no plans to try again before the gun season ends on Sunday.