Column: Wisconsin Takes Aim at Annual Hunt

With the leaves changing colors and the air becoming crisp, it means one of Wisconsin’s most time-honored traditions is quickly approaching: deer hunting season. While some hunters have already been in the woods for bow season, the nine-day gun-deer holiday will take place November 18-26, 2023. For many Wisconsinites, these nine days of hunting mean spending time with family, friends, and fellow hunters with the hope of harvesting a big buck and putting meat in the freezer.

Many hunters across Wisconsin have been preparing for the nine-day holiday for months. From putting up blinds and tree stands to clearing brush – Wisconsinites take the annual gun-deer hunting season seriously! If you talk to any Wisconsin hunter I am sure you will hear about many different hunting traditions and stories that go back decades, which makes this time of year special.

Hunting the white-tailed deer is an integral part of our state’s heritage. Wisconsin has been, and continues to be, one of the most prominent states in America for the white-tailed deer. Last year, a total of roughly 203,295 deer were harvested during the nine-day hunt. This was a 14% increase compared to the total deer harvested in 2021, according to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Over 421,474 gun-deer licenses were sold in 2022.

Not only is the nine-day holiday a time for hunters to share stories and catch up with each other, but it is also a time of large economic importance for our state. Deer hunting is a multi-billion dollar industry that positively impacts communities across Wisconsin year after year. Many local bars, restaurants, and small business see a big impact during the nine-day hunting season.

Many hunters across the state have expressed their concerns about long wait times to get their deer processed. This makes sense given the increase in harvests year over year. That is why the legislature invested an additional $2.2 million for Wisconsin’s meat processor grant program to increase capacity at meat processing facilities and help tackle the high demand.

The Wisconsin DNR has many resources and helpful tips for this upcoming season on their website. Visit to purchase your hunting license, view hunting hours and regulations, and more.

I want to wish everyone a safe and successful 2023 deer season!

# # #