The DNR offers multiple deer hunting seasons each fall but the nine-day season remains the pinnacle for hunters. It began at dawn on Nov. 20 and ran until nightfall Sunday. Hunters killed 175,667 deer, down 8% from the 190,646 animals killed during the 2020 nine-day stretch. The number of bucks killed was down 1.3% from last year. The antlerless take was down 13%.
Hunters killed 9.3% more deer in the northern forest management zone this year than last, the only one of the state’s four management zones that saw an increase. The southern farmland zone, which includes most of the southern third of the state, saw a 17% drop in kills.
The number of hunters who could have ventured into the woods remained virtually unchanged from 2020. The DNR reported it had sold 564,440 hunting licenses that would allow someone to kill a deer using a gun during any of the state’s multiple gun seasons as of the Sunday close. That’s down about 0.8% from the 564,440 licenses sold at the same point last year.