The 2021 nine-day gun deer hunt in Wisconsin kicked off the holiday season with plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors, put delicious, wild-harvested protein on the table and make memories with family and friends.
Preliminary figures show that hunters registered 175,667 deer during the 2021 nine-day gun deer hunt, including 84,952 antlered and 90,715 antlerless deer. Since archery seasons opened Sept. 18, hunters have registered 270,046 deer statewide, showing the growing influence of earlier seasons on cumulative harvest.
Compared to 2020, the total firearm deer harvest was down 7.9% statewide, with buck harvest down 1.3% and antlerless harvest down 13.2%.
The Northern Forest management zone showed harvest increases from 2020 for both antlered and antlerless kills, while the other three zones showed declines in harvest. The Central Forest (-3.0%) and Central Farmland (-8.9%) had similar declines in total harvest from 2020 levels, while the Southern Farmland showed a larger decline in total harvest of 17.0%. Sheboygan County is in the Central Farmland zone.
While opening weekend saw mild temperatures throughout the state with some snow in the north, DNR staff across the state reported good weather throughout the season. Snow cover and frozen wetlands would have improved visibility and access for hunters.
At the time of this news release, the DNR Bureau of Law Enforcement reports five firearm-involved injuries and one fatality for the entire 2021 nine-day gun deer season.
Door County, Town of Brussel: On Nov. 20, 2021, at approximately 6:45 a.m., a 40-year-old male suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the hand. The victim had placed his hand on the muzzle after pulling the hammer back on his firearm. The victim believed he pulled the trigger, and the bullet struck his left pinky. He sought medical attention, was treated and released.
Door County, Sturgeon Bay: On Nov. 21, 2021, at approximately 7 a.m., a 10-year-old male was the victim of a gunshot wound. A 45-year-old male shooter was hunting from his residence when he shot at a deer. The shooter attempted to unload his firearm, at which time it discharged inside of the house and struck the victim. The victim was transported to a hospital and treated.
Waukesha County, Town of Ottawa: On Nov. 21, 2021, at approximately 6:21 a.m., a 30-year-old male suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the leg. The victim was in a tree stand when he tried to hang the gun on a hanger. The gun discharged, striking him in the right leg. The victim was transported to a hospital and treated.
Juneau County, Town of Seven Mile Creek: On Nov. 22, 2021 at approximately 4 p.m., a 57-year-old male was the victim of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the leg. The victim had a loaded firearm, and it discharged in the proximity of his ATV. The victim drove to the hospital and was treated.
Iron County, Town of Saxon: On Nov. 23, 2021 at approximately 4:28 p.m., a 65-year-old male was the victim of a gunshot wound to the chest. A second 65-year-old male shooter was moving and knocked over his firearm, causing the firearm to hit the ground and discharge. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
Marathon County, Town of Rib Falls: On Nov. 26, 2021 at approximately 5:15 a.m., a 65-year-old male suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The victim was loading a pistol when his finger slipped off the hammer, causing the gun to fire and strike him in the ankle. The victim was transported to the hospital for treatment.