K/D hunters combine for close to 7,000 deer
We’re into the final days of mandatory blaze orange in Kewaunee County as the antlerless-only gun deer hunt wraps up Sunday.
Once that happens — and outside of rare agricultural damage tags or disabled permits — 23 straight days of firearm deer opportunity will come to an end.
It’s been a very fruitful fall deer-hunting season, with nearly 7,000 whitetails already trimmed from the Kewaunee/Door County Peninsula.
The numbers include a preliminary count of 2,092 in Kewaunee County and 2,706 in Door during the nine-day gun season, 181 in the youth gun hunt, and — through Nov. 15, at least — a combined K/D count of 1,675 with bow and crossbow.
When an additional month of bow/crossbow is added in, plus the 10-day muzzleloader and four-day antlerless-only hunt, no doubt the count will swell well past 7,000.
Kewaunee County bucked the odds during the 9-day season, up 16 percent in the antlered count and 13 percent in the antlerless total.
Statewide, the Nov. 21-29 season numbers were very similar to 2014, up only slightly, with 94,166 bucks and 107,646 antlerless deer reported in the first year of electronic registration.
Door County’s buck kill was just one animal higher than last year (1,370), with 26 more antlerless deer (1,336), for a total of 2,706. County Deer Advisory Council members had hoped for two antlerless for every buck to slow herd growth, as the Door CDAC was one of few statewide that recommended a three-year plan to reduce the deer herd.
Meanwhile, archers and crossbow hunters can go back to all camo starting Monday. The season runs through Jan. 3 locally, and to the end of January in the Brown County metro subzone.
Duck season wrapped up last weekend, but the Canada goose hunt continues through Dec. 21. Wild turkeys and pheasants are fair game all month, and rabbit and squirrel hunters have even longer to pursue small game.
If you missed the deadline to apply for spring turkey tags, you’ll need to wait until leftovers go on sale in March. Zone 2 was the only zone with increased tags available (3,000 more than 2015), so there will likely be fifth and sixth period leftovers.
On the fishing scene, brown trout and a few cohos and northern pike are being caught on the Ahnapee and Kewaunee River systems, with browns also active on Lake Michigan for the few trollers still giving that a shot on the calm-water days.
New bear book
Many area hunters know Bill Wiesner of Sturgeon Bay, his wife, Sandy, or sons Brad and Bryan, the latter two charter captains in Algoma.
Bill “Bear Crazy” Wiesner has spent the last two years writing and teaming up with Glenn Helgeland of Target Communications to publish “The Bear Hunting Obsession of a Driven Man,” Bill’s 53-year love affair with bears dating back to his first encounter back in 1962.
The book features 20 chapters split between memoirs and how-to, covering everything from current bear hunting practices to new methods like food plots and calling and decoying.
Wiesner even helped Montana Decoy Company design a bear decoy. You can read about it, and see photos of Bill, bears and the decoy, at https://www.montanadecoy.com/news/a-new-way-to-decoy-bears.
Bill and his family have nearly 150 years combined of black bear hunting experience. They’ve taken more than 100 bears, nearly a third that qualify for the Pope & Young record book and seven which are big enough for Boone & Crockett.
Wiesner said they’ve taken bears over baits, by spot and stalk, and behind hounds. They have called bears, taken them over food plots designed specifically for bears, decoyed them and used bear-attractant non-food scents.
The family has used rifles, shotguns, crossbows, selfbow, recurve bow, longbow, compound bow and muzzleloader. Bill says they once thought of trying a spear, then thought better of it.
The retail price is $19.95. Anyone interested can ask for it beginning next weekend at select sporting goods stores, call (262) 242-3530 or visit www.targetcommbooks.com.
District 8 of the Wisconsin Trappers Association will be holding an event Sunday at the Maribel Sportman’s Club. For more information, e-mail Brenda at [email protected], or call her at (920) 743-4195.
Kevin Naze is a freelance outdoors writer. Email him at [email protected].
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press Gazette: K/D hunters combine for close to 7,000 deer