DNR says gun deer season off to promising start

State wildlife officials say this year's gun-deer hunt got off to a promising start, with hunters bringing in a steady stream of bucks and does throughout the early part of the day. No injuries had been reported Saturday, but Clark County officials say a hunter was shot about three miles southwest of Thorp Sunday morning.

Officials say the victim was flown to St. Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield, and his condition is unknown. They say the initial investigation shows one member of a hunting party was shooting at a deer, when another person in the group was shot.

The DNR says nearly 604,000 licenses had been sold Friday. That's about 4,000 fewer than were sold last year, but this year's number is expected to rise as license sales continue throughout the season.

Dan Knuth and his son Connor shot two deer this weekend, and it was Connor's first buck. Sunday, they took the animals to Blau's Saukville Meats, where the venison will be processed. This year, it is estimated that at least 1,000 pounds of meat will be donated to those in need, with the average deer providing about 30 pounds of meat.

DNR officials say the early harvest results were strong, but things started to slow about 2 p.m. Saturday as a mix of rain, sleet and snow passed through northern and central Wisconsin. The DNR predicts that conditions Sunday will be "nearly ideal,'' perhaps including fresh snow.

Gun-deer season wraps up next Sunday.