Prepare For The Hunt

Anticipation is building across Wisconsin as hunters of all experience levels are preparing to head out afield to take part in the state’s 170th nine-day gun deer season Nov. 20-28.

“Hunting is part of the cultural fabric of Wisconsin, and we look forward to another memorable gun deer season that also provides an economic boost to many parts of the state,” says Eric Lobner, the director of the DNR Resources Wildlife Management Bureau.

Wisconsin is a nationally-recognized state for hunting white tailed deer with an abundant herd and a proven reputation for producing some of the largest bucks in the world. In Wisconsin, you can pursue whatever experience suits you thanks to the over seven million acres of land open for public hunting across a diverse range of habitats.

2021 Deer Hunting Forecast Information

As hunters begin the final countdown to the nine-day gun deer season opener, the DNR offers a few deer hunting forecast details to help prepare:

  • It’s been a relatively dry year and crop harvest is on or ahead of schedule. Access in low lying areas should not be hampered by flooding. However, unfrozen conditions in much of the state may limit access in the some of the wetter areas.
  • Deer numbers are trending upward in much of the state. Deer numbers are high throughout the Farmland Zones, with a lot of antlerless harvest opportunities in many Farmland Deer Management Units. Additional antlerless deer harvest supports a healthier herd.
  • The state experienced a very mild winter, which usually leads to better fawn numbers and antler growth.
  • There are no buck-only units this year. Antlerless harvest quotas in the Northern Forest were increased by 40% overall. However, some northern counties with limited antlerless permits have sold out.

Check out the 2021 deer hunting forecast here.

Bonus Authorizations Still Available

Bonus antlerless harvest authorizations remain available in many counties. Bonus antlerless harvest authorizations may be filled with any weapon type but must be filled in the zone, county and land type (public or private) designated on each harvest authorization.

Bonus antlerless harvest authorizations are available on a first-come, first-served basis at the cost of $12 each for residents, $20 each for non-residents and $5 each for youth hunters under age 12.

Licenses may be purchased through Go Wild, the DNR’s online license and registration portal, or at any of the more than 1,000 license sales agent locations. As a reminder, most DNR service centers remain temporarily closed to the public. To find service centers currently open for in-person service visit the DNR’s Service Center Locations webpage.


All harvested deer must be registered electronically by 5 p.m. the day after the deer is recovered.

Hunters have four options to register their deer: