I remember our deer hunt in Northern Wisconsin in 2013 for the opening weekend of rifle season was not a bad one. Three guys out of seven of us got bucks. I was not one of them. Smaller racks but good sized bodies on these animals. However even though three guys got some good size bucks . We only saw a few does that weekend and of course a few bucks. But in comparison to many of our other hunts in units 35 and 39 in northern Wisconsin the deer numbers seem to be way down. As in many of the other units in far northern Wisconsin as well as upper Michigan. Many of the hunters I talked to that live up there agreed that deer are way down in numbers.
I read somewhere that around 110,00 deer were harvested throughout Wisconsin and upper Michigan. A lot of bucks of course but does as well. In southeast Wisconsin the hunting was better do to more deer in those areas. But some hunters claim not as many deer there as it use to be either. Some hunters and others believe that over hunting and wolves as well as bear and coyotes have hurt deer herds throughout Wisconsin and Michigan. Milder winters have helped the bear and wolf population expand while feeding on any deer they may get when hungry. Also when hit with a bad winter, that can also effect the deer numbers. Over hunting by miscalls from deer management can also create a problem with smaller deer herds. In order to fix a problem like this we need to get the deer herds back up again to a good number for sportsmen and women. That is why of course we have made the hunting a little tougher by bucks only in some areas in Wisconsin and Michigan. This is usually more of a challenge for hunters as bucks are usually smarter and harder to hunt. They are more timid and careful except they get careless when in rut for the mating season as they are chasing does to breed with.
However with less hunters in those areas because of deer herds being down and the economy being in worst shape where some cannot afford to travel to the north and hunt also with hunting bucks only we stand a chance of bringing the herds back up. But in order to do so we will have to keep hunting pressure on the wolf numbers as they have grown quite high in some of those regions. One wolf pack can wipe out a numerous amount of deer during a winter when they get even more hungry and they have to feed. When the number of a certain animal species climbs it can decline another species that can effect the animal kingdom balance. So hunting management is needed but has to be controlled. Without it things can get out of hand. We should not have poaching going on but we do. That only hurts the animal kingdom but we need hunting management. We can learn from our mistakes. However we need to sit up and take notice to what is going on around us. The Bow season continues after the deer gun season until January. But the pressure may be on as the deer rut has ended and the activity has slowed down. However keep in mind when we purchase our hunting license we help support conservation management and we can still hunt and get our venison. Good luck hunting and enjoy our outdoors.
An update for 2016. The deer numbers are climbing. The Whitetail deer have incresaed to high numbers in Wisconsin. They may be down in some areas in the state but they are reaching a nice increase in higher numbers. Doing very well in the middle counties and southern counties.