ELEVA, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – Gun Deer Hunting Season kicked off (11/18/23) so you may be seeing spots of bright orange and pink in the woods throughout Wisconsin. First News at Nine’s Michelle Stangler shares what the season has brought so far for hunters in the area.
Becker’s Processing in Eleva says due to the warmer than typical weather, they’ve had more deer through their doors on opening weekend this year. Owner of Becker’s Processing, Jeff Backer, says, “Weather kind of gets a deer here in a hurry. So, last year, I think, we took in 50 deer opening day. Yesterday we took in 80.”
For two employees, the second day of processing has been hectic for them. Jana Tucker and Nancy Bartholomew say, “Busy, very, very crazy busy. We’re already over 100 deer for the weekend and that number will only climb.”
The processor expects to be getting even more deer early on in the 9-day gun season. Becker explains, “52 is not a good friend for us, we like thirties. When it’s cold out, they hang on to longer. They can put them in their garage or put them in their truck, and it doesn’t hurt the meat. But when it’s warm weather, they gotta do something. Nobody’s got the cooler space like a processor does.”
Local hunter, Chris Hazen adds, “Generally, the deer don’t like to move a whole lot when it’s warm. I’m, playing the watching game right now, waiting for one of the bigger ones to come running out.”
Another hunter had better luck already harvesting a 12-point deer. Glen Ebersold explains, “I’ve been hunting for 57 years and by far the biggest deer I have ever shot.”
Although, what’s enjoyable for hunters is beyond the adrenaline rush of harvesting a big buck. Ebersold explains, “A lot of has to do with being with family and friends. It’s nice getting a deer, but just the camaraderie and the bonding is a great experience. I think it’s a great way to do something that maybe they don’t normally do as much electronics nowadays and screen time and here you’re out in the woods and just enjoying nature.”
Hazen says, “Good luck to everybody, shoot straight and hope the big one walks through.”
Wisconsin DNR reported in a press release it’s unlikely this season will match last year’s harvest as in 2022 snow covered much of the state.
All harvested deer must be registered electronically by 5 p.m. the day after the deer is recovered.