White-tailed deer hunting facts and stats

Win some bets with your hunting buddies or at least learn something new with these deer facts:

White-tailed deer

Scientific name: Odocoileus virgianus

U.S. population: (Alaska and Hawaii do not have white-tailed deer): 35.2 million

U.S. population (1890): 300,000

Wisconsin population: 1.66 million

Diet and behavior:

Deer can run up to 30 mph and jump up to 25 feet. They have been known to eat up to 600 different plants. Deer eat 8 pounds of vegetation per day per 100 pounds of weight.

A fawn can stand within 20 minutes of birth, walk within 60 minutes and run within 24 hours.

At 5 days old, it can outrun a human.

Sense of smell: Deer have 300 million olfactory sensors, or about 60 times more than a human.

Lifespan: 2-5 years in the wild; up to 20 years in captivity.

Wisconsin hunting history

First closed deer hunting: 1851

Hunting deer with dogs prohibited: 1876

Game laws published in pamphlet form: 1888

First bag limit for deer: 1897 (2 per season). Resident license $1; 12,000 sold

First doe and fawn season in 24 years: 1943

First year red clothing required and some counties are shotgun only: 1945

Hunter safety program begins: 1967

No deer season fatalities: 1973

Blaze orange clothing required: 1980

Largest Wisconsin deer harvest from 1960 to present: 2000: 615,293 deer (including 212,332 bucks)

Most gun-deer licenses sold: 1999 (694,712)

First state with an archery deer season: Wisconsin (1930)

1930 archery season: 22 Wisconsin counties open and 77,284 tags sold

First archer to shoot a deer: Roy Case, Vilas County (spike buck, 112 pounds field dressed). Shot Dec. 6, 1930; ran 50 feet.

Bow used: 61-inch, 54-pound Osage orange longbow, cedar arrow and Case Kiska broadhead.

Sources: “The History of Wisconsin Bowhunting” by Bill McCrary; Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; www.schmidttexashunting.com; www.bowhunting.net; www.deerfriendly.com; www.onwisconsinoutdoors.com.

Additional information about Wisconsin deer populations (county-by-county data): https://apps.dnr.wi.gov/deermetrics/LaunchPage.aspx

Chronology of Wisconsin’s deer season: http://www.onwisconsinoutdoors.com/DeerHunting/A-chronology-of-Wisconsin... from-closed-seasons-to-record-harvests

How to field dress a deer: Download this pocket guide, https://foodsafety.wisc.edu/assets/pdf_Files/Pocket_Guide.pdf

— Ross Bielema