When does bow hunting season in Wisconsin begin? Traditionally, the firearms season opens the Saturday before Thanksgiving. This practice has been problematic in some years, with deer hunters missing out on the peak of the rut. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has flirted with moving the season to a later date, but hunters rejected the idea. They wanted the season to begin earlier, so they can take advantage of the most ideal hunting conditions.
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2021 archery and crossbow deer hunting seasons
The DNR reminds hunters that the 2021 archery and crossbow deer season will open Sept. 18 and run through Jan. 9, 2022, respectively. In addition, these seasons will be extended to Jan. 31 in some metro sub-units, and many counties will offer antlerless only holiday hunting. To ensure that you don’t miss out on these opportunities, make sure to check out the new seasons online.
Archery and crossbow deer hunting seasons are the same in Wisconsin as in other states, but the archery season is more popular in the North. Since crossbows are legal for hunting deer all throughout the fall, Northern hunters use them 22% more than those in other parts of the state. The DNR urges hunters to review the following four rules to stay safe and remain legal while hunting with a crossbow.
Antlerless deer harvest authorizations increased 21%
Antlerless deer harvest authorizations have increased in Wisconsin for the first time since 2014. The increase is a result of a recent decision by the state’s Natural Resources Board to cut bonus antlerless permits by half in six northern deer units. The DNR may not implement this order. According to Jeff Pritzl, a deer specialist at the DNR, antlerless deer harvest quotas for 2021 were set at 209,125 on public land and 48,725 on private land. The decision was based on the best available science, with input from DNR wildlife biologists and foresters.
Bonus antlerless harvest authorizations will be available on Monday, Aug. 16, through license sales offices and online. Depending on the deer population in each county, bonus antlerless harvest authorizations will differ, with some quotas available in a lower-population area. These authorizations, formerly known as tags, will be valid for the 2021 season. The number of bonus antlerless deer harvest authorizations varies by deer management units in the state.
Ruffed grouse population on downward trend
Pennsylvania’s ruffed grouse population is on a downward trend, and this situation is mirrored in other Northeastern and Midwestern states. According to Penn State University and the Pennsylvania Game Commission, in 2003, grouse hunters flushed only one bird every minute, a drop of nearly 86 percent from their all-time high of 1.74 per hour in 1995. The state has also seen a decline in the West Virginia population, and some localized populations have completely disappeared.
According to the Ruffed Grouse Society, a nonprofit organization with more than 17,000 members, the grouse’s population is declining, and this is a concern for hunters. Although the ruffed grouse is still a valuable hunting spot, the decline of the species is unavoidable if the species’ habitats are not protected. Although the RGS is opposed to hunting the grouse, it does support some conservation measures for the species, including season closures and state listing. However, the RGS does make one caveat: any actions should be based on environmental reviews that favor active forest management.
Cost of licenses
There are some benefits of owning a crossbow in Wisconsin. For one, crossbow licenses cost just $24 if purchased from a residence. However, if you live outside the state, the license costs $160. Nonresidents pay an additional $15 for a license that also includes a deer tag. Those who want to hunt deer in Wisconsin must have a certificate of hunter education from the state.
In addition to that, a mentored license can cost $7 for a non-resident. There are many reasons for Wisconsin residents to obtain a mentored license. Among those reasons is the fact that these licenses show responsible hunters know what they’re doing. Additionally, they ensure that you are legally entitled to hunt in Wisconsin. And, of course, they make it easy to buy a bow for hunting and fishing.
Changes in regulations for arrow-killed deer
New laws will make it easier to harvest an arrow-killed deer in rural areas of Wisconsin. These regulations will take effect with the 2014 deer hunting season. The new rules will eliminate many requirements imposed by local governments, including minimum lot size, trespass laws, and requiring hunters to retrieve deer from neighboring land. Those who hunt in rural areas will not have to worry about having to worry about neighbors.
The new rules will not affect hunting seasons for the majority of hunters, but will make it easier to obtain the permits. While arrow-killed deer hunting is already legal in Wisconsin, the crossbow has become the most popular type of bow. In 2017, crossbow kills accounted for 27 percent of the state’s total harvest. Ohio lawmakers have been considering the legislation, which parallels the wave of acceptance across deer hunting states.