"Cold weather and snow definitely helps!" Gearing up for a Wisconsin tradition - gun deer hunting season

FRANKLIN (WITI) -- Deer hunting is a Wisconsin tradition, and opening day for the gun deer hunting season is next Saturday, November 22nd.

The Green Bay Packers' game didn't kick off until 3:25 p.m. Sunday. That left plenty of time for folks to grab gear for Wisconsin's other favorite past-time.

It was busy Sunday, November 16th at the Gander Mountain store in Franklin.

"A lot of stuff is moving out of the store," manager Mike Duenkel said.

Duenkel says some put Christmas shopping on hold as they gear up for the hunt.

"You've got to spend a lot of money. $800 to $1,000 every year we go up there," Burl Pease said.

Duenkel says the week before gun deer season kicks off, his store gets busy.

"The cold weather and the snow definitely helps!" Duenkel said.

Winter has come a bit early this year. We saw our first snowfall of the season this past Saturday, November 15th, and we'll really feel the cold with single-digit wind chills in the forecast for this week. The gun deer hunting season will open regardless of the weather, and that's why hunters say stocking up on gear is important.

Along with the gear, Duenkel said he was seeing a lot of deer hunting licenses going out the door this past weekend.

"I would say half of the customers that are in here today will probably get a license," Duenkel said.

The gun deer hunting season runs from November 22nd through November 30th.

It is followed by the muzzleloader season, which begins December 1st.

The Wisconsin DNR reports 494,474 people have purchased gun deer hunting licenses as of November 9th. That's just under last year's number of licenses sold: 497,444.

The Wisconsin DNR is reminding folks that first-time buyers can get a price break on hunting licenses, and can recognize that special person who introduced them to the sport.

A gun deer hunting license is $24 -- or just $5 for a first-time buyer.

CLICK HERE for more information on deer hunting in Wisconsin via the Wisconsin DNR's website.

CLICK HERE to take a look at some of the deer hunting rule changes for 2014.