Hunters can expect to see less deer this year - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Hunters can expect to see less deer this year


RHINELANDER (WAOW) -- The gun deer hunting season begins Saturday. According to wildlife experts, weather conditions will be great, but there might be fewer deer in the woods than usual this year.

Wisconsin hunters say they look forward to the opening of deer season every year.

"I love to hunt and I'm looking forward to sitting out there with my son and a couple friends," said Lee Bastan, a hunter and sales representative at Mel's Trading Post in Rhinelander.

This year, there is more snow on the ground than usual. State wildlife experts say the snow will impact the hunt in a positive way.

"We can see deer moving around. We can see tracks they've left and if people shoot a deer, they can follow the blood trail easier," said Jeremy Holtz, an Oneida County wildlife biologist. "We want snow."

Holtz says deer behave differently in the snow and hunters may have to adjust to the way deer travel.

"Deer are going to be moving around in areas where the snow is shallower," explained Holtz.

He says deer will probably use trails and travel along areas where snow is packed down.

After last year's long and cold winter, Holtz says hunters might not see as many deer as usual.

"There's still going to be deer out there, but its definitely going to be a year we see a results of last year's conditions," said Holtz.

He says another harsh winter could really hurt the Wisconsin deer population.

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