Local hunters talk about opening weekend of gun deer hunt - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Local hunters talk about opening weekend of gun deer hunt

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - This weekend marks the start to a Wisconsin tradition 161 years in the making. We talked to a few local hunters as they registered their deer to find out how their hunt has started out.

"Well it's an eleven pointer, he's a ten point mainframe and he's got a little kicker coming out of the base of him, which is pretty unique," said Tyler Schoettl of Eau Claire.

For Tyler Schoettl, the gun deer hunt got off to a better start than he could have asked for.

"This morning we got in pretty early, about a half hour before daylight, and we just sat in the stands figuring other people would be moving deer. And that's what happened. Someone walked through some land adjacent to us and kicked him out of there. That's what gave me the opportunity," Schoettl said.

He was not alone, as hunters here and across the state took advantage of the warm weather and active deer.

"The rut was still in play, where as in past years it seems to me the rut had been over. Both me and my cousin tagged out already so we had a great opening weekend. We had a pretty mild winter last year so I've been seeing bigger deer than I normally do," said Schoettl.

"Well the weather has definitely been warmer. Usually you like snow for tracking purposes, and it kind of helps you see the deer in the woods too when it's all brown with the leaves and the ground, the snow gives you a little background to be able to see the deer better," said Chuck Oelig of Tomahawk.

Most hunters are looking for a buck like Tyler's.

"I've never shot a deer that big. I haven't seen a lot of deer that big, other than on camera," said Schoettl.

But some hunters say they are happy just to be back in a tree stand, enjoying time with friends and family.

"It's a good bonding experience; we have a lot of fun, give everybody a hard time on missed shots, or shooting too small of a deer. It's just fun," Oelig said.

Hunters we spoke with say they saw about the same or slightly more deer than last year. The DNR says numbers from the hunt are expected to be a little better than last year. 

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