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DNR: Opening weekend deer harvest down 18% from 2012

GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says preliminary numbers from the opening weekend of the gun-deer season is down almost 18 percent.

The DNR says over 110,000 deer were killed, including about 54,000 bucks. The buck total is down 25 percent from 2012.

The number of antlerless killed, roughly 57,000, is down 9 percent from last year.

In our region, harvest numbers dropped in every county except Outagamie, where it was up two percent. Hunters in Oconto and Sheboygan counties may have fared the worst with totals down 24 percent.

“It's going to be down from last year opening weekend, but it seems to be varying from 10 to 25 percent,” Jeff Pritzl, DNR regional program manager, tells FOX 11.

The DNR says cold and windy conditions made it difficult for many hunters.

The DNR adds the late start to the season also means the deer's mating time, or the rut, is winding down.

“Traditionally that has had a somewhat depressing effect on the harvest sometimes up to 10 percent in and of itself,” said Pritzl.

Wildlife biologists say if the wind dies down, hunting will get better.

“It might lend to some better hunting over the Thanksgiving weekend. Frozen conditions might improve some areas. And a little bit less harvest this weekend, might mean a few more that are still there next weekend,” said Pritzl.

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