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Thursday, July 25th, 2024

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Thursday, July 25th, 2024

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Northern Wisconsin’s deer herd: Vilas, Oneida counties losing their popularity with deer hunters

Rob Manthei, of St. Germain, Wis., with a nice Vilas County buck from 2015. An avid hunter and resort owner, Manthei has not purchased a Wisconsin deer license since 2019 and now closes his resort during deer season because of a lack of interest from hunters. He hunts out west instead. (Photo courtesy of Rob Manthei)

Vilas and Oneida counties in north-central Wisconsin are in lake country with more than 2,400 waterbodies between them. Those lakes attract tourists and the region is busy in summer.
For many years those counties were busy in the fall, too, thanks to some fantastic deer hunting. But as numbers of deer have fallen in northern Wisconsin, the number of hunters has followed suit, which has affected local businesses. Both counties, which have historically produced big bucks, are now among the leaders in the state in percentage of yearling bucks carrying spike antlers.

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