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The eve of the deer hunt

Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 9:30 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - It’s nearly time for one of the most enduring traditions in Wisconsin. The 170th gun-deer hunt kicks off Saturday morning.

For many heading out to the woods for the hunt, it’s a tradition spanning decades.

“I’ve been doing it every year pretty much since I was 12 years old,” Glen Besaw from Manitowoc said.

And it brings generations together.

“It’s tradition to hunt the old homestead, and I hunt with nephews and sons and cousins, and I just enjoy it,” Jerry Keller of Green Bay said.

With the season a day away, hunters took the time Friday to stock up on snacks at places like Maplewood Meats on their way out of town.

“Why pack a lunch at home when you can get it all here and then just shoot up north? It makes it so convenient,” Ron Neuman from Green Bay said.

“We get to provide them some snacks for deer camp, and then they get to come back and bring us wild game trimmings,” Maplewood Meats plant manager Brad Van Hemelryk said.

Looking forward to the next nine days, hunters shared with us what makes the season so special.

“I think it’s the camaraderie. everyone together, people you don’t see all the time, drinking beer, telling stories, making memories, shooting deer, obviously,” Nick Perna, a hunter coming up from Chicago, said.

While the Department of Natural Resources suggested families stay closer to home last year due to the pandemic, this year the usual traditions are back in full force for the estimated 600,000 hunters spreading out across the state.

“Last year we just hunted at home, and this year we are headed back up north,” Neuman said.

It’s a boon for businesses, too.

“We’ve had a great bow season so far,” Van Hemlryk said. “The weather has been great, so it’s really shaping up to be another great year.”

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