Opening weekend deer harvest down nearly 5 percent

Steve Imhoff bagged this big 9-point buck in the town of Pine River on opening day at 1 p.m

That's down 7,467 deer from the 76,223 deer they killed on opening day previous year.

New tallies from the state Department of Natural Resources show hunters took about 7,500 fewer deer on opening day of Wisconsin's nine-day gun deer season than they did previous year. Just over half were killed in the central farmland deer management zone.

Hunters have until 5 p.m. on the following day to register a deer.

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Alabama hunters will enjoy a longer gun season that runs through February 10, giving them more time to find that big buck.

There appeared to be fewer hunters in the woods: the DNR sold nearly 551,000 licenses by late Friday, which was 17,000 fewer than the same time previous year. Deer-archery season is open now through Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017. Hunters can also share photos by clicking on the Photo Gallery tab online.

The DNR strives to maintain a healthy wild deer population that offers recreational and economic opportunities, while addressing conflicts between deer, people and other natural resources. The figures show hunters killed 114,472 deer compared with 120,276 deer previous year. "Since these are preliminary numbers, it's too soon to say if the unusual weather had any impact on harvest elsewhere in the state, but as conditions change and hunting continues, we'll get a better sense of how the season is progressing". Coshocton County had the most this year with 222.

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