Wisconsin deer population continues climb in state's forestland

Eau Claire, Clark, Adams, Taylor and Monroe are highest density counties in state, DNR says

The Wisconsin deer population increased on both forest and farmland in 2020, according to population estimates from the state’s Department of Natural Resources. This continues a general trend for the past five years in white-tailed deer populations.

The DNR report attributed the increase to “five moderate to mild winters in the Northern Forest Zone” and a “latest possible opening date and winter storm conditions” for the 2020 gun season.

Deer are a major recreational attraction in Lake States forestland, but also a significant threat to hardwood forest regeneration as seedlings and immature trees make appealing food sources.

The county with the greatest estimated population density in forestland was Eau Claire County at 37 deer per square mile of timberland. The lowest population density was Iron County with

7 deer per square mile.

The report, including deer population density by county, can be found here:


The five counties with the greatest density in forestland were Eau Claire, Clark, Adams, Taylor and Monroe.

Many agricultural counties have higher deer densities on their farmland than are usually found in forestland. The five counties with the greatest farmland density are: Adams, Richland, Waupaca, Vernon and Juneau.

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