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 license sales, harvest registration and hunting incident numbers are now available.
PRELIMINARY LICENSE SALES TOTALS
As of 11:59 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 27, 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.
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.
Opening weekend saw cold temperatures and snow throughout the state, with ideal conditions except for the strong winds on Saturday, Nov. 19. DNR staff across the state reported good weather throughout the weekdays of the season. Warm weather later in the season melted snow, reducing deer and hunter activity.
For the gun deer season, the 2022 regional harvest breakdown by deer management zone included the following:
More information regarding preliminary registration totals, including county-level numbers, is available on the DNR website.