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Local Outdoors: Deer harvest numbers could be poised to bounce back this season

November 17, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

On the heels of a below average deer harvest in 2019, DNR officials say a bounce back in harvest numbers could be on the horizon with the start of the

A lot of things have looked different in 2020. But the fast approaching nine-day gun deer season in Wisconsin isn’t expected to be one of them. As the season is set to begin on Saturday and run through Sunday, Nov. 29, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist Terry Shaurette said there are no major COVID-19 related changes to rules and regulations, outside of hunters following basic guidelines such as staying six feet apart and refraining from gathering in large groups. Shaurette said the number of participants in this year’s turkey and fishing seasons rose compared to recent years and that trend is expected to continue for the nine-day gun deer season. “We’re expecting a lot of hunters to be out in the woods with the COVID-19 stuff and people are wanting to get their own meat and have that type of thing on hand,” Shaurette said.

“We expect a lot of people in the woods. ”Last year’s harvest numbers in Chippewa County were down slightly compared to 2018, but he said a number of factors contributed to that and those numbers could be poised for a rebound this year. “I think the population has been holding steady as what it has (been) the last few years,” Shaurette said.

Initial weather forecasts for the season look promising with temperatures in the lower 40s, and smaller chances for precipitation outside of possible accumulation on Saturday could lead to more success, according to Shaurette. “I think we’re going to have a pretty good opening weekend,” Shaurette said. The DNR is also asking for the public’s help in the battle against chronic wasting disease by submitting deer heads to be tested.

Chippewa County has not had a documented CWD case thus far. “We encourage hunters to get their deer tested for CWD,” Shaurette said.

Nothing as far as positives in Chippewa County but we still encourage hunters to get their deer tested.

It helps us out. ”With all those things in mind, Shaurette also wants everyone to be sure to be safe as they venture out into the woods and remember all the safety protocols such as wearing blaze orange and treating every firearm like it is loaded as hunters aim to make this year’s hunt a successful one. “It’s a fun tradition here in Wisconsin and something that thousands and thousands of people look forward to every year and it’s the last thing we want is for somebody to get hurt,” Shaurette said.

Adam Casper of La Crosse shot this deer in Vernon County.

Aubrey Hass, 13, shown with an eight-point buck Saturday morning in La Crosse County.

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