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Wisconsin hunters are eager for the start of gun deer season on Saturday

(Michigan DNR)
Published: Nov. 20, 2020 at 10:23 AM CST
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DEFOREST, Wis. (WMTV) -The nine-day gun deer hunt kicks off Saturday, November 21st in Wisconsin. The hunt runs through Sunday, November 29th. NBC15 News caught up with some eager hunters early Friday morning at the Fleet Farm in Deforest.

“I’m hoping to get some good deals today,” said Dennis Kohlmeyer from the Town of Dane. He was first in line at Fleet Farm at 4:30 a.m. on Friday. The store opened at 6 a.m.

“I figured if I can stand for 10 hours in a deer stand, then I can wait an hour and a half to get some good deals,” he said.

Fleet Farm has their own spin on “Black Friday” calling November 20th “Orange Friday” – offering hunters deals and bargains ahead of opening day. Hundreds of people waited in the dark with the line wrapped around the store.

“I was surprised it (the line) was so big, but it shows me people still want to get outdoors and be in the woods,” said Robert Nilo, Fleet Farm General Manager.

Because of the pandemic, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says more people are spending their time in the great outdoors.

“I think that numbers are going to be up,” said conservation warden Alex Brooks. “Everything that has been going on recreation wise -- boating was up this year, fishing was up – so I think we are projecting numbers that are up and we are going to see a lot of people out for the gun deer season this year,”

But with COVID-19 cases exploding in Wisconsin, Brooks wants people to take precautions: try to minimize the number of people in your hunting group, buy your supplies locally, and stay close to home to hunt.

“If you are able to stay in your community and hunt within the area you live in, that is another thing we are trying to stress,” he said. “Obviously, we realize people have hunting cabins and hunting areas up north. If you are going to do that, obviously that is your decision,”

For Kohlmeyer, the pandemic isn’t changing his hunting routine very much. He plans to go hunting on private land near Briggsville in Marquette County.

“Not really, because it’s an outdoor sport and usually you’re sitting alone so it doesn’t really change it with the pandemic being here,” he said.

All that’s left to do is bag that buck.

“For all the hunters out there: good luck and just get out there and have a good time,” he added.

A few more reminders from the DNR:

- Always point your muzzle in a safe direction

-Be certain of the target and what is beyond it

-Treat every firearm as if it’s loaded

- You can buy a hunting license online

- Pack a face mask.

-Don’t forget to wear blaze orange or pink.

-Download the official DNR app called “Hunt Wild Wisconsin”

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