Mixed reviews for Saturday's gun-deer season opener

Some feel deer population has thinned

Published On: Nov 18 2012 04:18:14 AM CST   Updated On: Nov 18 2012 03:00:41 PM CST
BLACK EARTH, Wis. -

Blaze orange and lots of camouflage can only mean one thing – it’s hunting season.

An estimated 700,000 hunters will head to the woods for Wisconsin’s nine-day gun-deer hunting season.

And at the end of the day on Saturday, Dane county sportsmen and women lined up to register their prizes from the gun-deer season opener.

Steve Martig was just one of those who took part on Saturday.

Martig has been hunting for more than 30 years, and he’s proud of the ten-pointer he bagged Saturday.

"I got him at 7:05, but I was just hoping I'd see another doe or something," said Martig. "But all the doe I seen were too far away."

"I saw about five bucks out there bigger than this, but they’re nocturnal, that's the only time you see them," Martig added.

Another long time hunter said she believes that the deer herd has continued to thin out over the years.

"When we first moved out here 18 years ago, you could drive around the block and see 80, now you might see 10," said Wanda, who didn’t give her last name. "It's a lot fewer deer."

She's pleased with her eight-point prize and is considering mounting it.

The unseasonably warm weather is creating another challenge for some hunters who need a place to keep their carcasses from spoiling before harvesting the meat.

"Where I put it in the shade, the sun will go down," said Wanda. "It will be OK until tomorrow."

Whether Saturday’s opener was a success or not is still being debated at the Black Earth Registration Station.

Some said they are seeing more deer than they have in the past, while others remain disappointed.

Hunters’ optimism ranges depending on where they're tracking their game.

"I seen four bucks today and they got their nose to the ground and they are moving around really well today," said Martig. "So, I think it's going to be a good season yet."