Archers could set another record

Editor

Madison With an estimated deer herd of 1.6 million, the
potential exists for bowhunters to set another harvest record
during the 2001 season, according to state wildlife officials.

The 2001 bow season opens Saturday, Sept. 15 with plenty of
antlerless tags available in the form of hunter’s choice, bonus or
Zone T permits. The use of those tags will play a role in
determining just what kind of season Wisconsin bowhunters record
this year, said Mead Klavetter, DNR assistant deer ecologist.

Last year, with the herd estimated at slightly more than 1.8
million animals, state archers registered 86,799 deer. That’s just
shy of the state record kill, reached in 1999 with 92,203 deer.

It might seem a odd that bowhunters didn’t shoot more does in
2000 than in 1999, considering the expansion of Zone T units last
year, but Klavetter said the abundant Zone T tags might have
actually worked against the overall archery kill because more
hunters might have filled their Zone T tags during the special
October four-day antlerless-only deer hunt. Those deer were
registered as gun kills.

“I don’t know whether we’re going to set a new archery record
this year, but this should be a very good year for deer hunters,”
he said. “There are plenty of deer out there. The potential exists
for this to be a record or near-record year, but it all depends on
what archers decide to take, or how they decide to use their
tags.”

Most bowhunters also hunt during the gun season.

Of the 86,799 deer registered last year by bow, 46,173 were
antlerless and 40,579 were bucks. Another 47 were registered as
unknown sex.

In 1999, archers shot 46,577 antlerless deer and 45,562 bucks to
reach the record of 92,203. That year, 64 deer of unknown sex were
registered.

In 2000, Marathon County led the state with 3,791 deer
registered; Marinette County was second with 3,524

In 1999, the standings were reversed Marinette County led the
state with 4,057 deer and Marathon County was second with
4,028.

Oneida County ranked third both years.

Corn harvest usually plays a role in hunter success in central
and southern Wisconsin. Klavetter said corn is maturing on
schedule, but is not quite ready to be cut yet.

He also said all hunters should review deer tagging options
before heading afield this year. There are several ways in which
bowhunters and gun hunters may use their choice, bonus and Zone T
tags. The DNR lists the tagging options in a printed chart that is
available with bow and gun licenses.

“The biggest question I’ve been getting has to do with hunter’s
choice tags and units that are not in Zone T. You can use a
hunter’s choice tag to tag an antlerless deer during the archery
season in a non—Zone T unit, but you can’t use the choice tag on an
archery deer in a Zone T unit. That’s never been an option, and
isn’t this year because there are so many bonus tags available in
Zone T units,” Klavetter said.

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