MILWAUKEE -- Gun deer hunting season kicks off on Saturday, November 17th in Wisconsin, and hunters across the state are preparing -- and hoping to bag that 30-point buck!
"This is really like Christmas week for all of us here at the department," Cathy Stepp with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said.
Gun deer hunting season is the busiest time of year for the Wisconsin DNR. It's two weeks of November that can bring families together, teach responsibility to young people and put food on the table.
"People are getting excited, and it's about that homecoming of deer hunting for us, too because it brings people back to Wisconsin," Stepp said.
Jack Bruhns is one of those who headed back to Wisconsin for the gun deer hunting season -- for this seventh season as a non-resident. Bruhns has been hunting for the last 30 years, 20 of those as a resident of Wisconsin. He has since moved to Florida, but said he couldn't shake the thrill of the hunt.
"It's something that gets in your blood," Bruhns said.
Bruhns was among scores of hunters buying licenses and equipment on Thursday, November 15th in advance of Saturday's start to the season. For Bruhns, making the annual trip back to Wisconsin is a trip he won't soon stop.
"It's not the hunt so much. It's the camaraderie. It's just fun, and if you get a deer, that's a bonus," Bruhns said.
"It's really about our community, our state, our traditions that are so rich to Wisconsinites," Stepp said.
Gun deer hunting season runs from November 17th through the 25th. Bow deer hunters have been able to hunt for the last month. Their season starts back up on Saturday, and runs through January 6th.
CLICK HERE for more information on gun deer season via the Wisconsin DNR's website.