Deer season officially opens this Saturday, September 16th, for bow and crossbow hunters across Wisconsin. Last year, there were more active bow hunters across the state of Wisconsin then ever before.

The Wisconsin DNR reminds hunters that early archery and crossbow seasons are the perfect opportunity to harvest antlerless deer before they change their patterns and experience additional hunting pressure during the gun deer season.

For those avid hunters and gamesmen additional antlerless tags are still available across several counties. Tri-state counties and their tag counts are as follows:

  • CRAWFORD: Southern Farmland (Zone 2), 269 Remaining Public Harvest Authorization, 2,753 Remaining Private Harvest Authorization.
  • DANE: Southern Farmland (Zone 2), 602 Remaining Public Harvest Authorization, 2,401 Remaining Private Harvest Authorization.
  • GRANT: Southern Farmland (Zone 2), 715 Remaining Public Harvest Authorization,  2,932 Remaining Private Harvest Authorization.
  • GREEN: Southern Farmland (Zone 2), 381 Remaining Public Harvest Authorization, 1,908 Remaining Private Harvest Authorization.
  • IOWA: Southern Farmland (Zone 2), 611 Remaining Public Harvest Authorization, 1,931 Remaining Private Harvest Authorization.
  • LAFAYETTE: Southern Farmland (Zone 2), 225 Remaining Public Harvest Authorization, 1,979 Remaining Private Harvest Authorization.
  • RICHLAND: Southern Farmland (Zone 2), 481 Remaining Public Harvest Authorization, 1,951 Remaining Private Harvest Authorization.
  • SAUK: Southern Farmland (Zone 2), 683 Remaining Public Harvest Authorization, 3,856 Remaining Private Harvest Authorization.
Large white-tailed deer buck in an open meadow in Smoky Mountain National Park
Credit: EEI_Tony

Any available bonus Antlerless Deer Harvest Authorizations, may be purchased by:

  • using the DNR's Online Licensing Center, GoWild; or
  • visiting a license sales location
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Sales begin at 10am each day; with Harvest Authorizations available to be purchased until sold out or the season ends. Bonus harvest authorizations are $5.00 for any person under the age of 12, $12.00 for residents, and $20.00 for non-residents. The Bonus antlerless harvest authorizations may be purchased at the rate of one harvest authorization, per person, per day until the unit is sold out or the hunting season ends. More details can be found here. Remember, all harvested deer must be registered electronically by 5pm. the day after the deer is recovered using GameReg online, by phone or at a participating registration station. The two bow seasons run through January 7th of 2024, except in the 31 counties that have extended seasons open until Jan. 31, 2024.

Credit: Wisconsin DNR
Credit: Wisconsin DNR

Just like firearm hunting, bow hunters should always remember these basic safety tips:

  • Always practice TAB-KTreat every firearm as if it were loaded, Always point the muzzle in a safe direction, Be sure of your target, what is before and beyond your target, and Keep your finger outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot.
  • Always wear a safety harness in a tree stand.
  • Use three points of contact when going into or out of the stand.
  • Use a haul line to bring the unloaded bow or crossbow into the stand.
  • Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return.
  • Operate any ATVs or UTVs soberly and responsibly.
Whitetail Deer
Credit: SteveOehlenschlager

Wisconsin hunters looking for season dates, maps, and regulations can visit the Wisconsin DNR hunting website. Looking for a place to hunt? Try Wisconsin's Public Access Lands webpage.

States with the most registered hunters

Stacker analyzed data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine which states have the most registered hunters. Read on to see how your state ranks on Stacker’s list.

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