Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – Wisconsin’s gun deer hunting season begins in less than two weeks. This year, there’s concern hunters could spread COVID-19. First News at Nine’s Max Cotton has tips from Wildlife and Health Officials on how you can stay safe this hunting season.
On November 21, Wisconsin hunters will be taking over the woods for gun deer season. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Management Program Director Eric Lobner says hunting season is still on despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Eric Lobner, Wisconsin DNR Wildlife Management Program Director said, “We don’t have any plans to change any season dates or season times or anything like that but we have been working to get information out to the general public just to make people aware and to remind them to take caution.”
Hunting in small, socially distanced groups can be safe, according to Barron County Public Health Specialist Sarah Turner. However, she suggests hunters avoid camps this year.
Turner said, “It’s great because it’s something you can do alone and very well social distanced. The problem is when you go to hunting camp it’s a lot of people who don’t live in the same house as you. So, we’re not as concerned with the actual act of hunting as we are with all the gathering that goes along with that.”
Lobner said, “We’re really trying to encourage people to, you know, stick with people within your household. I know that may be a challenge sometimes when you think of the tradition of deer camps. And I get it. I enjoy those just as much as the next, but maybe there are some opportunities there where you can do stuff outside rather than getting into a building.”
Both Turner and Lobner also say hunters should avoid traveling long distances to hunt this year.
Lobner said, “People should think about hunting more locally, try something in their local community. Think about what is happening, certainly about how they can reduce the spread of the coronavirus.”
The DNR says as of last week, deer gun hunting license sales were up about 10 percent compared to that point last year.
In Eau Claire, Max Cotton, First News at Nine.