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Wis. Hunters Prepping For Deer Opener

Posted at: 11/16/2012 4:00 PM
Updated at: 11/19/2012 9:45 AM

The firearm deer season will open in Wisconsin Saturday, and hunters are prepping for the big day. Many people tested out their guns at the George Constance Rifle Range in Superior, including two life long friends Dan O'Connell and Tom Peret.

"We've been buddies since seventh grade," O'Connell said. "Tom and I have been up here hunting since highschool, which is over 35 years."

These two, and about 100 other hunters, have filled the range the past four days. Range Master Jim Hill said people come to test out their equipment and work on their aim.

"You want to check your gun because if you get up there and you miss him, you'll think, was it the gun or was it me?" Hill said.

When hunters head to the woods this year, DNR Big Game Ecologist Kevin Wallenfang said there may be fewer sightings in northern Wisconsin. He also said doe quotas are smaller so the population can rebuild.

Wallenfang expects to see more than 600,000 hunters in the state. He also said people can hunt coyotes while looking for deer this year. That's a change because of the wolf hunt.

While many people in the Northland enjoy hunting, the sport means much more than a big buck to some.

"It's a comradery," Peret said. "Hunting is all about tradition."

The firearm season closes on November 25. Also, the DNR will be testing for Chronic Wasting Disease in Washburn, Barron, Burnett and Polk counties.