Deer licenses up day before opening weekend - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Deer licenses up day before opening weekend

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RIB MOUNTAIN (WAOW) -

Many hunters are traveling to their favorite hunting spots. But before thousands of hunters settle into the woods this weekend, they're taking care of business.

The general manager at Emma Krumbees in Rib Mountain says their business grows during opening weekend.

"We really get hit hard Saturday morning," said Joann Vanden Langenberg, Emma Krumbees General Manager. "We normally have a lot of business coming through with the travelers, the hunters heading north."

Andrew Rittmann is one of those hunters. He and his brother are in town this weekend from West Bend.

"We used to come up with my dad, but our dad passed away a few years ago," said Rittman. "This is my first year hunting with my brother in 5 years since my dad passed away. So I'm really excited this year."

State officials say more than 600,000 people will go hunting in the badger state this weekend.

"It's really interesting when you look at Wisconsin hunters because so many of them are deer hunters," said Courtney Schaefer, DNR Wildlife Biologist. "But then also everybody in the state of Wisconsin, if they are not a deer hunter, they know someone who deer hunts, or are related to someone who deer hunts. So it really is a really important part of our culture in this state."

DNR officials say thousands of last minute licenses were sold on Friday. As of Friday afternoon, more than a half million licenses were sold statewide.

"An incredible majority of people say that deer hunting is the most important thing in their lives," said Schaefer. "If they didn't have deer hunting they would not have any other hobbies that they could turn to. So we know it's really important for hunters, and that's why we work as hard as we do to ensure this week can be fun for everybody."

Because of how many people are in the woods this weekend, DNR officials are stressing safety. They say wear the blaze orange and be smart out if you're headed out.

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