Hunting is not only foundational to Wisconsin’s identity, but contributes $2.5 billion dollars to the state’s economy, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
“Once the tourists are gone, the locals and hunting keep me afloat,” said Mike Bilodeau who owns Rod and Gun Sport Shop, Chetek’s hunting and fishing staple since 1949.
“I’ve had more hunting rifle and ammo sales in the last month than the rest of the year.”
The US Fish and Wildlife Service has sold 600,000-700,000 hunting licenses in the last two years. Those hunters support more than 34,000 jobs and a $1 billion statewide industry.
In Wisconsin, hunting is also a key source of tax revenue, generating $228 million dollars each year.
The annual November gun deer season, from Nov. 18-26, draws the most hunters, produces the biggest deer kill, and has the biggest economic impact.
This year, the DNR expects to sell about 550,000 firearm deer licenses. And similar to past seasons, it anticipates hunters from all 50 states and more than a dozen countries will hunt in Wisconsin.
“Between the time people put their boats away and the start of ice fishing season, it’s definitely the bridge,” Bilodeau quipped. “This is the start of our holiday season!”
The Top Counties
We can’t tell you the best hunting spots. (After all, who’s going to spill their secrets?) But we can use last year’s data to determine where hunters had the most success.
The top five counties for deer kill in 2022 were Marathon, Shawano, Waupaca, Clark, and Vernon.
And the most trophy bucks? That title goes to Buffalo County. Buffalo has produced more Boone and Crocket Club record book whitetails than anywhere else in the state.
As a whole, Wisconsin is the #1 ranked state when it comes to hunting records–with 1,822 total entries in the record books.
A majority of Wisconsin’s millions of acres of public land is open to hunting. Visit the DNR’s website (click here) to find a public hunting spot near you.
Swiss cheese legislative districts: “Wisconsin is the only state that has anything that looks anything like this.” Pro-democracy advocates pleaded...
Opinion: It’s open enrollment time for Medicare, and it’s better than ever thanks to changes by Biden and Baldwin
The Inflation Reduction Act ended 30 years of taxpayers not being able to use their buying power to get lower prices from big drug companies....
As Wisconsinites, it’s our duty to not only spread cheer, but cheese this holiday season! Whether you’re hosting or heading out of town, what’s...
Black Friday is the ultimate shopping extravaganza, offering massive discounts on everything from electronics to fashion. While it’s tempting to...