'It's the challenge of the hunt:' Hunters gear up for gun deer season

RICHFIELD -- Twas the night before -- not Christmas -- but gun deer hunting season. And this would stir those creatures, and definitely that mouse.

Jim Babiasz

Thousands of hunters are expected to hit deer stands Nov. 23 for opening day of gun deer hunting season -- and hunters aren't the only ones anticipating the day.

At The Range of Richfield, they welcome all levels of experience. The owner knows it's not just about getting the big deer -- it's also big business.

"We always look forward to deer hunting," said Jim Babiasz, owner of The Range of Richfield. "Shooting is a muscle-memory sport, so you need to get those muscles working so you can get that shot off and take that deer home."

Anyone is allowed to practice their shot or fine-tune their gun. Babiasz says every detail brings that perfect shot.

"It's the challenge of the hunt. The last thing you want to do is have a beautiful buck standing in front of you, you pull the trigger and you don't get him," Babiasz said.

Mitchell Steldt

Along with those guns comes education for people like hunter Mitchell Steldt.

"If I get to help him learn the hunting process and enjoy the outdoors, that's a win," Steldt said of a friend.

Gun deer season lasts nine days. Trail cameras will likely be up -- tracking patterns for next year.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says there are nearly 1.8 million deer statewide. As of noon on Nov. 22, sales for gun, bow, crossbow, sports, and patron licenses reached 690,928. Of that total, 464,120 were for gun privileges only.