Gun Deer License Spike
Photo: Video by nbc26.com
More people are getting-in on a Wisconsin tradition this year. The DNR says compared to last year thousands more hunters will be wearing blazing orange on Saturday when gun deer season kicks off.
In the past, the DNR tried to manage the herd with programs like "Earn A Buck". Hunters had to shoot a doe before bagging a buck. This season that program is not in place. One of many reasons why more hunters may be coming out of the wood work.
12-year-old Ryan Wasielewski waited all year for the green slip.
"I'm excited to go hunting," Wasielewski said. "It's my first time not being mentored."
His father Karl also getting his hands on a license.
"If they keep it going the way it is with the limited doe tags and stuff, I think it's going to be an excellent season and future," Karl Wasielewski said.
As of Wednesday 446,449 gun deer licenses have been sold. That's more than 2700 compared to last year.
"Last year we saw about 100,000 hunters wait until Friday to buy their licenses. This year, we're kind of seeing this increase, and we're thinking part of that may be due to the fact that the October hunt was suspended," DNR Spokeswoman Trish Ossmann said.
Ossmann believes the herd of hunters could also go up with new regulations this year like allowing bows during gun season. Archery licenses are up by more than 8,000 compared to last year.
"It isn't just for the guys. It is definitely is for the ladies and the kids and really has become a great bonding rich experience for families," Ossmann said.
And for the Wasielewski family hitting the woods is now a tradition.
"My favorite part is getting to shoot my gun," 12-year-old Ryan said.
The DNR tells us another reason we could be seeing more hunters is because of reduced price licenses offered this year. If you haven't hunted in the last 10 years, you can get a license for $5.