Thousands of hunters are getting out their blaze orange and making their way into the woods. The nine day hunt officially begun early Saturday morning.
Highway 51 north through Wausau was bustling Friday evening. In fact, you'd think it was a holiday weekend with the amount of cars on the road Friday night. Many hunters used today to get those last minute items before heading to deer camp.
The Wisconsin DNR reports that sales of hunting licenses are up two percent from last year. More than 650,000 licenses are expected to be issued. The gun deer season officially begins Saturday at 7 a.m. It lasts nine days. But it's opening weekend that hunters say is really exciting.
"Just make sure your gun is cited in. Make sure you have enough gear, hand warmers, that sort of thing. I usually bring out a snack so I can stay in the woods all day, especially the first day," said hunter Doug Debroux.
For other hunters, it's all about the relaxation of being in the woods.
"This year just getting my gear together, shooting it a couple times, making sure everything works. For me, I just love getting away for a few days, going up there and spending some quiet time in the woods,"said Kevin Henke of Weston.
The gun deer season also has a big impact on local businesses. With all the hunters and visitors in the area, DNR officials report that deer hunting actually brings in more than one billion dollars to the Badger State every year.