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Gun Deer Season Opener Was Steady, Safe
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 11/20/2006

Seasonably mild and relatively pleasant conditions greeted hunters for the opening day of the 2006 Wisconsin nine-day gun deer season on Saturday. The state's natural resources departments says minimal precipitation and temperatures in the mid 30s through most of the day allowed hunters to stay in the field longer.

DNR fieldmen says visibility was good, but with most of the state snow-free hunters reported the landscape was 'awful brown,' making it hard to see deer.

Hunters in 21 deer management units of the state were under Earn-a-Buck regulations that required them to shoot an antlerless deer before being able to shoot a buck, and antlerless registrations were strong in some of those areas. At Whitehall, in Trempealeau County, a registration station had registered 15 antlerless deer by 10 a.m. and had a total of 75 antlerless deer and just 19 bucks registered by 1:30 p.m.

However, in other areas, buck registrations were coming in very strong. At Barneveld, which is in the chronic wasting disease management zone, bucks were coming in at a ratio of three to one, according to Greg Matthews, public affairs manager for the Department of Natural Resources South Central Region.

DNR hunter education administrator Tim Lawhern, stationed in Juneau County on Saturday, reported one shooting incident statewide. A 25-year-old woman in Ashland County received a self-inflicted non-fatal injury, Lawhern said. He said the hunting pressure was low but hunters he talked to seemed to be relatively happy with conditions opening day. There were also three hunters who died of apparent natural causes in unrelated incidents over the weekend.

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