Hunters find success on blustery opening day - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Hunters find success on blustery opening day

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - It's that time of year again when blaze orange becomes the hot color in Wisconsin, but this year's gun deer opener was anything but hot.

Tricia Wathke shot her nine point buck early Saturday morning

"It's really nice," said Wathke "I've had plenty of times where I haven't gotten anything. So, this is the first one with a gun."

For some the temps in the teens and howling winds were challenges to overcome.

"It was just a bit brisk this morning," said hunter Jody Cowell "I ended up cutting the day short, I got too cold."

While others took refuge and hunted in a heated shanty. Like Jack Zawart who shot his eight point buck at eight thirty opening day. 

"It's nice getting it early but the hunt is cut really short so that's kind of a downer," said Zawart.

Even with one deer in the bag, Jody Cowell and his family will be back out for more.

"I'm going to go again tomorrow morning. It sounds like the weather is going to be a little bit nicer than today," said Cowell.

And for biology students from UW-Eau Claire the size of the antlers weren't nearly as important as the size of the ticks traveling on the deer.

"The gross ones are when they're huge," said Biology student Anna Gay "They're like raisin sized.

Those ticks will be sent to UW-Madison

And while thousands of other hunters take to the woods in search of their deer these three hunters have the satisfaction of knowing little bit of luck was on their side.

"It's very nice," said Cowell "You get it out of the way and then you don't have to worry about it as much through the rest of the season."

As of 3:30 p.m. close to 30 people registered deer at the holiday station on highway 93. They expect close to 50 by eight tonight.

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