DNR: Opening weekend deer harvest up 2.3% from 2019

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin wildlife officials say hunters killed slightly more deer during the opening weekend of the state’s traditional nine-day season than last year.

The Department of Natural Resources released data Tuesday that shows hunters killed 95,257 deer Saturday and Sunday, up about 2.3% from 93,155 during opening weekend in 2019.

Hunters took 49,025 bucks, up about 1.6% from 48,252 last year. The DNR has sold nearly 560,000 gun licenses as of midnight Monday.

Three hunters were hurt and one was killed over the weekend in incidents involving firearms.

The department said the hunter who died was a 65-year-old man. He was leaving his blind in Door County when he tripped and shot himself in the chest. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Two people were shot during deer drives by hunting partners. The third hunter shot himself in the hand while cleaning his pistol.

Wisconsin has averaged about three opening weekend firearm-related incidents over the last decade, DNR officials said.