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DNR: License sales for gun deer hunt down from 2011

A hunter ties up a doe shot at Potawatomi State Park. (courtesy of FOX 11)
A hunter ties up a doe shot at Potawatomi State Park. (courtesy of FOX 11)

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - License sales are down for Wisconsin’s nine-day gun deer hunting season that begins Saturday.

The DNR said 376,000 licenses were sold as of Tuesday, down by 27,000 from the same time a year ago. But the DNR’s Ed Culhane says it does not necessarily mean that fewer hunters will be in the woods come Saturday morning.

He says the Friday before the season opener is normally the biggest day for gun license sales. He noted, though, that overall hunting has been going down for decades – and it’s a trend that has not stopped.

Meanwhile, bow and arrow deer licenses are up slightly from 2011. There were 216,000 archery licenses issued as of Sunday, 8,700 more than last year.

The bow and arrow season is half over. It picks up again Saturday and runs through January 6th.

Governor Scott Walker pushed to streamline this year’s hunting seasons, to put more of a spotlight on the November gun hunt and to eliminate confusion over seasons which overlapped in the past. There was no special hunt for antlerless deer in October – and the Earn-a-Buck requirement is gone.