The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has announced the preliminary deer harvest and license sale totals for the opening weekend of the 2022 gun deer season.
Preliminary License Sales Data
Preliminary figures indicate that the number of deer hunters in Wisconsin decreased compared to 2021.
- As of midnight Sunday, 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, at which time DNR staff will perform a thorough analysis and interpretation.
Preliminary Registration Totals And Future Outlook
In total, 102,347 deer were registered statewide during the opening weekend of the 2022 gun deer hunt, compared to the 85,860 registered for the same period in 2021. This is a 15% increase over 2021 and is on par with the average opening weekend harvest.
- A total of 55,503 bucks were registered on opening weekend, compared to 47,529 in 2021.
- This is a 14% increase over 2021 and is 2% above the 5-year average.
Review a detailed summary of preliminary registration totals here.
Conditions for opening weekend this year included some snow cover but were cold with high winds, particularly on Saturday, which suppressed some hunter activity. Conditions improved slightly on Sunday, but wind chill was still a factor in some parts of the state.
Despite the challenging conditions, hunters saw good deer movement overall, with some evidence of bucks still showing breeding behavior.
Throughout the state, warming temperatures during the week will likely lead to a loss of the snow cover in parts of the state. Where it doesn’t melt completely, it will result in crunchy conditions from daytime melting and refreezing at night. Beyond the potential for rain on Thanksgiving Day, conditions should be great for hunting during the remainder of the gun deer season.