Wisconsin On the Hunt: Rifle Opener 2019

Emily Ness
Updated: November 24, 2019 10:46 PM

Minnesotans dawned orange on behalf of the deer two weeks ahead of Wisconsin. But now, it is Wisconsin's turn.


“I’m feeling good. It’s been a pretty busy opener so far, been a lot of people in the woods,” Adam Stennett, Conservation Warden for the Wisconsin DNR said.

On Saturday, the state's nine-day rifle season began and with it came hunters from far and wide.

“The department estimates there’s around 1.8 million deer in the state of Wisconsin. A lot of those are located in the central farmland zones of the state so the lower third of the state, but there are increasing deer numbers in the northern forest sections of the state,” Stennett said. “I think hunters are seeing some mixed success due to the late season, but I think people should do pretty well over all.”

Some known advantages to hunting later in the season are snow, which allows for tracking and input from other hunters, which allows for planning. Other advantages to Wisconsin hunters are that in some counties, deer can be baited.

“There are a number of counties that do allow baiting—Douglass and Bayfield County are two of the closest locations around here that do allow baiting for deer,” Stennett said. “Hunters are limited to two gallons of bait at any given time.”

Additionally, antlerless deer can be hunted.

“This year in Wisconsin is the first year of many where there are no ‘buck only’ counties in the state so in every county of the state, people get to harvest antlerless deer,” Stennett said.

In years past, Wisconsin hunters have killed more deer than Minnesota hunters. Time will tell whether this trend continues.

“What I’ve heard so far from our department is that license sales are on track to either meet last year’s goal or maybe be a little bit less, but those numbers will come out on Monday I believe,” Stennett said.

Wisconsin’s rifle season goes until December 1st. More information about hunting in Wisconsin can be found here.


Emily Ness

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