Deer pointers: some things to know before heading out - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Deer pointers: some things to know before heading out for the hunt

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Western Wisconsin (WQOW) - For all of you deer hunters heading out this weekend in search of the elusive 30-point buck, here are a few pointers for this season's opener.

Whether you're out in hopes of bagging your very first buck, or taking to the stands for the hundredth time, it all starts with making sure you've got your license on hand. And for those of you putting it off until the last minute, you may be in luck. If you're a first time buyer or have been out of the game for at least ten years, you get a price break and only have to pay $5 for your annual license.

For many of you, the gun deer hunt holds about as much traditional value as Thanksgiving or Christmas. "And it's going to look like Christmas too because we're going to have snow, and unfortunately we're going to have some wind, and some very single digit temperatures," says Dave Carlson, the host of Northland Adventures.  

With highs predicted in the teens for Saturday, the temps could change the way deer act, and the way you hunt them.  Carlson says, "They'll find the thickest, most isolated spot. It's almost certainly going to require some driving activity to get the deer moving up and out of their beds."

And with a later harvest, "We're going to see a lot of deer taking refuge in corn, and that's difficult to hunt and it could be unsafe to hunt too," explains Carlson.  

The DNR says deer numbers in West Central Wisconsin are about the same or higher than last year, but they are expected to be down in the northern part of the state.

And if it's your first time dropping a deer, the DNR is offering a 'First Deer Certificate' as a way for novice hunters to commemorate their first success.  

Carlson says, "Dress warm, dress visible, and shoot safe." Those are the keys to a successful and fun hunt.

A couple of other pointers for you: if you're planning to build a fire to keep warm, be sure you buy it where you burn it. The DNR says firewood can carry invasive pests like emerald ash and gypsy moth.

The DNR is also asking you to report any sightings of feral pigs. To share your sightings, click here.  

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