(Madison, WI)  —  Wisconsin hunters shot 12 percent fewer deer in the opening weekend of the nine day gun season, continuing a downward spiral that lasted for the entire hunt in 2016. The state DNR said Tuesday that a preliminary total of 102,903 deer were taken last Saturday and Sunday, when most of the hunting takes place. There were fewer hunters in the woods as well, as almost 583,000 licenses were sold through the opening weekend, almost five-thousand fewer than in 2016. Hunters took 15 percent fewer antlerless deer than a year ago, while the buck harvest was down nine percent. The Northwoods was the only region where the deer totals were up, evidence that the northern herd is recovering after three mild winters and a regional ban on antlerless deer hunting that’s no longer in place.