Amid pandemic, more deer hunters set to take aim

Published: Sep. 11, 2020 at 2:14 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Ahead of the opening of the archery and crossbow deer hunting seasons in Wisconsin tomorrow, the DNR is reporting a spike in license sales.

It’s another indication that the pandemic is driving more people into the outdoors.

Some last minute equipment or supplies is on the agenda for a crowd of deer hunters at Cabela’s in Ashwaubenon.

And some, are already thinking about their game plan tomorrow.

“Get up early, go out, keep him awake and hopefully take down the big one,” says Wesley Manning from Sheboygan, who will be hunting with his son.

Excitement for tomorrow’s archery and crossbow opener is perhaps higher than it’s ever been.

“The last six weeks has been steady, steady, this is my day off and I’m working. It’s not uncommon to have half a dozen people lined up waiting for service because everybody wants to go,” says Cabela’s Archery Manager Randy Bowles.

And there’s proof to back that up.

Just like with fishing and turkey license sales in the spring, bow and crossbow license sales are up 18-percent compared to this time last year.

“At this point as many as 15,000 new people are going to be having that experience, it just brings me a lot of joy knowing that more people are going to be experiencing nature with that kind of connection,” says Jeff Pritzl, DNR District Wildlife Supervisor.

“They want some activity to do where they don’t have to wear a mask, they can go outside and enjoy the fresh air and see what nature has,” adds Bowles.

With so many activities cancelled or curtailed due to the pandemic, hunters say having some new hunters in the woods is a good thing.

“Fathers and sons, mothers and sons or daughters to reconnect through hunting is a great thing, I fully support people going out and even trying deer hunting, if you don’t know ask somebody, we’re always willing to help,” says Manning.

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