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Traditional deer hunt ends in state
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The sun set for an other year on one of Wisconsin’s longest traditions Sunday—the gun deer hunting season.

While final numbers won’t be known until Tuesday, Department of Natural Resources wildlife technician Eric Borchert labeled this season a success, with numbers only slightly down from last year, a not unexpected occurrence.

“Overall, our deer numbers are still lower than they have been traditionally,” Borchert said, citing a number of factors, including some harsh winter conditions. “In our two largest units we did not issue a lot of antlerless permits this year, and that’s simply a reflection of our expectations and lower fawn production.”

After a bitterly cold opener, temperatures moderated through the week just enough to get the hunters moving, while keeping snow cover largely intact.

“Snow on the ground tends to get hunters a little more excited,” Borchert said. “On Saturday especially there was a lot of activity going on with larger groups doing drives. People were trying to fill tags.”

Borchert said that the camaraderie among hunters was high, observations echoed by northwoods hospitality managers who reported one of the most festive openers in years.

Borchert credited a variety of DNR initiatives, including the youth mentoring program which is bringing more and more young hunters into the woods and creating—or strengthening—generational bonds.

“It’s starting to renew some of those family hunts again,” Borchert said. “We had one huge group come in with a pickup truck full of deer and everyone from grandfathers to grandsons.”
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A large hunting party, made up of several generations of family members, brought this truck-load of deer into the DNR registration station opening weekend.
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