New Rules Mean Longer Wisconsin Bow Deer Season

The 2011 Wisconsin’s archery deer hunt that opens Sept. 17 will be the longest bow deer hunt in state history, according to Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources officials.

For the first time, bow hunting will be allowed during the regular nine-day gun deer hunt in November. As before, there will be no deer hunting on the Friday preceding the gun deer hunt. This single day will now separate the early and late bow deer seasons.

The 2011 archery deer season runs from Sept. 17 through Nov. 17 and then from Nov. 19, the start of the gun season, through Jan. 8.

During the gun deer season, bow hunters will be required to follow the same blaze orange clothing regulations as gun hunters.

Another piece of welcome news this year for many bow hunters is the absence of any October gun deer hunts outside the Chronic Wasting Disease management zone in south-central Wisconsin.

In 1966, about 85,000 licensed archery hunters took just under 6,000 deer, according to the DNR. In 2010, the number of bow hunters had swelled to 260,000, and they harvested 87,000 deer, 36 percent as many deer as taken by gun hunters in the previous year. The 2010 bow buck harvest was the third highest on record.