Grantsburg’s Maria Oachs was all smiles after shooting this spike buck on opening day of Wisconsin’s gun season.

This week hunters of all ages, shapes and sizes will be waiting for the perfect deer to walk past and show off the trophy to their friends. In Burnett County over 1,500 deer have already been harvested thanks to early season hunts.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), there have been 1,557 deer harvested in the county over the course of the archery, crossbow and the youth hunt seasons.

Across the northern farmland region of the state over 18,000 deer were harvested so far this year.

During the archery season (Sept. 12 – Jan. 3) 572 deer were harvested, 344 antler and 228 antlerless, for the crossbow season (Sept. 12 – Jan. 3) 875 deer were harvested, 570 antler and 305 antlerless. While youth hunters in Burnett County bagged 110 deer – 52 antler and 58 antlerless between Oct.10 and 11.

In 2019, the Sentinel reported 994 harvested deer before the nine-day rifle season opener.

This year the WDNR has recorded 784 antlered deer and 513 antlerless deer over the first three seasons.

This trend was noticeable across the state with a decrease in harvest numbers and license sales.

Last year following the rifle season WDNR said 25% fewer bucks were harvested than in 2018. They sold 564,664 gun deer licenses, down 2% from 2018.

In 2019, Wisconsin hunters harvested 160,769 deer during the nine-day hunt, a decrease of over 53,000 white tails compared to 2018.

The numbers from rifle opening weekend were not available at press time but will be featured in next week’s edition of the Sentinel.

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