Gun deer hunting season starts Saturday and it falls at its earliest possible point on the calendar this year.
‘Orange Friday’–or pretty much–Christmas for deer hunters–had an almost tangible holiday buzz to it.
“Nobody’s going to sleep well tonight because this might be the year that that memory of a lifetime is created,” said Jeff Pritzl, District Supervisor at the Department of Natural Resources.
Hundreds of hunters wrapped around the building waiting for a good doorbuster.
“Some gloves and hand warmers,” said Andy Mares, a seasoned hunter and one of the first in line. “Some shotgun shells and a few other things that I really don’t want to let my wife know yet.”
And of course, fresh boots.
“Oh, you never know when you’re going to get tracking them deer and you get into the ditches and that,” he said. “Wet feet is the worst thing in the world.”
If you’re on the fence about joining the hunt, just remember– this may be one of the most action-packed seasons in a while.
“The breeding season is still going on,” said Pritzl. “Which equals deer being a little more active, on the hoof during daylight hours. That increases deer sightings and it increases the chance for people to fill their tag.”
Having said that, this year is not without its changes.
“One of those changes that people need to be aware of is Marinette County, which is a very popular destination for deer hunting, has been added to the baiting and feeding bans. So, no baiting of deer for the deer season up in Marinette County this year,” he said.
As the number one over-the-counter license seller in the state, Fleet Farm is leading the charge toward a successful season.
The DNR expects more than 100,000 licenses to be sold today.
“I don’t know why people want to wait until the last day, but a lot of people do–they like the suspense–I guess, you know,” said Dan Meyer, secretary of the DNR. “It’s a big day for us and tomorrow is a big day for deer hunting in the state of Wisconsin.”
Gun deer hunting season runs through November 25th.