MADISON, Wis. (AP) –– New data from the state Department of Natural Resources shows hunters killed dramatically fewer deer during Wisconsin’s nine-day gun season than last year.

Preliminary figures show hunters killed 160,769 deer over the season that ended Sunday. That’s down 25% from 213,972 deer last year.

DNR officials have said the season started so late this year that hunters missed the rut and deer weren’t moving around. The nine-day season always includes Thanksgiving Day, which fell on the latest possible date this year.

Fewer hunters may have taken to the woods as well. Last year the DNR sold 577,576 licenses that would have allowed a hunter to kill a deer with a gun during Wisconsin’s multiple firearm seasons. This year the department sold 564,664 licenses. It’s impossible to know how many hunters went out during the nine-day either year, however.

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