The report abstracted [in the Quarterly] covers the last three months of 1943.
Antlerless deer were killed legally in Wisconsin during the 1943 hunting season for the first time in 25 years. The split season was the first one held. The number of deer tags sold exceeded any previous year and the deer kill was the heaviest ever recorded. Many refuge areas were opened to hunting for the first time in several years. Because of weather conditions, deer were fairly well yarded in northern Wisconsin before and during the hunting season. The hunting pressure was unevenly distributed due, in part, to travel restrictions and lack of spare time.
During the 1943 deer hunting season 150,000 deer tags were sold. A preliminary sample of 37,741 special cards returned indicated a kill of 25,236 deer, for a success ration of 67 percent. A kill of 105,000 deer is indicated based on tis 16 percent sample.
The reported sample kill was a follows:
- Fawns: 1,633 Bucks; 1,369 Does
- Yearlings: 3,060 Bucks; 3,416 Does
- Adults: 8,385 Bucks; 7,373 Does
- Total: 13,078 Bucks; 12,158 Does
The season on antlered deer was open November 18 to 22. The season on antlerless deer was open November 25 to 28.
The livers of 89 deer was examined for flukes and 65 percent were found to be parasitized. The average number of flukes was 5.7 and the maximum was 37.
Although the indicated deer kill was heavier than the take for any previous year it is thought to be little more than one-half the reduction necessary to bring the deer population within the carrying capacity of the winter range. Because of the lack of snow following the hunting season, deer were not yarded but scattered in the vicinity of yards and on summer range. Project personnel noted an abundance of deer sign, heavy browsing, and damage to coniferous reproduction and pine plantations subsequent to the hunting season.