Archery and Crossbow Season Set to Open
One of Wisconsin's most famed traditions kicks off this weekend with the opening of the archery and crossbow seasons.
That means for more than 200,000 deer hunters around the state, it's almost time.
"It's hard to imagine, it's like fall has snuck up on us and yeah, this weekend is the opening of the archery and crossbow seasons and deer hunting is upon us for the next three months," says Jeff Pritzl, DNR Regional Wildlife Biologist.
Pritzl says with much of the state on pace for a record amount of rain this year, and crops 2-3 weeks behind schedule, the landscape could present hunters some early season challenges.
"Deer will go through water to get to high ground whether it's for food or for bedding, but they're going to minimize their time in areas that have standing water unless they're feeling pressure and are using that to avoid hunters, and that's not going to be the case a lot early in the hunting season, so yeah, standing water is probably not an archery hunter's best friend," says Pritzl.
He also advises hunters to be extra cautious.
"We've had some serious wind storms, sometimes that impacts permanent stands, either the conditions aren't what they were when you left them at the end of last season, and even from a safety standpoint, trees get weakened, limbs get broken, it's really important to make sure that elevated stands are secure before you climb into them the first time," says Pritzl.
As for the deer population, Pritzl expects most hunters in Northeast Wisconsin will have the opportunity to fill their freezer.
He says most county deer advisory councils are encouraging hunters to do their part to help manage the herd.
"Based on the feedback we've gotten working with the advisory councils in each county is that there's a number of counties that really could use an uptick in the antlerless deer harvest," says Pritzl.
Last year in Wisconsin hunters harvested more than 87,000 deer during the bow and crossbow season.