Incredible Harvest Numbers

I’ve suffered from a selective memory these past few years. It seems that I can’t
remember what I had for lunch yesterday, yet I can nearly recite all of Robin Yount’s
offensive statistics from his MVP season in 1982. A coworker says I have “stress-induced
ADD.” Maybe he’s right!

In any event, I do vividly recall a conversation I had with another D&DH fanatic
in 1995 when I was compiling the state-by-state deer hunting statistics for our Deer
Hunters’ Almanac. We were talking about our home state of Wisconsin’s then-impressive
annual archery harvest of 69,158 whitetails. This number was almost unheard of at
the time. “Nearly 70,000 deer taken with bow and arrow?” my friend said. “Amazing,
but that will likely never happen again. Once we get this herd down, we bow-hunters
will be back to the days of killing 40,000 to 50,000 deer a year…and liking it.”

Not quite.

Wisconsin’s bow harvest has not only increased expotentially since then (our five-year
average is 101,000 deer per year), there are no signs of it ever going back to those
averages of the “old days.”

The numbers from this past season were released yesterday. Brace yourself. In 2007/08,
Wisconsin bow-hunters established a new season record of 116,042, eclipsing the previous
record of 113,918 that was only one year old. Gun deer hunters brought in 402,531
deer, their third best season ever.

The overall harvest of 518,573 deer is the second highest in state history and sixth
highest in U.S. history.

–Dan Schmidt D&DH Editor

Here are some snapshots of the state’s amazing run:

deer harvest chart

Total deer harvest 1966 to 2007 Top line is gun harvest; bottom line is archery harvest.
Courtesy of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

All Time Single Season Harvests

1. Wisconsin, 618,274

2. Michigan, 544,895

3. Michigan, 541,701

4. Alabama, 535,092

5. Alabama, 507,800

6. Wisconsin, 518,573

For a detailed list and more statistics, be sure to order your copy of the Deer Hunters
Almanac. 2007 editions are available by calling 800-258-0929.

One thought on “Incredible Harvest Numbers


    Hi Dominick,

    Unfortunately, few states keep as meticulous data on their deer herds and deer harvests as Wisconsin does. I do not believe that Michigan has compiled similar data as noted here. Most of their harvest figures come from the surveys they do at the end of each season. They have not released their final numbers for 2007 yet, but I do know that their preliminary estimate was a gun-hunting harvest of 249,000, which was about 6 percent less than the previous year.

    Hope this info helps. Best, DanPosted by: Dan Schmidt

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