Gun deer hunting season begins Saturday, and Thursday, both hunters and butchers were making last-minute preparations. Hunters were stocking up on supplies for their weekend trip up north, and butchers were getting ready to process unused venison for food pantries.
At one hunting store in Richfield, Black Friday came early, as ammunition, rain gear and deer licenses were going fast, before hunters make the trek up north this weekend.
"This is definitely our busiest time of our year. Everything on the hunting side of the store just sells out this time of the year. If we don't sell it now, we're not going to sell it until next year," one store representative said.
Butchers were also getting ready to start processing venison. Hunters can drop off any deer, provided it is field dressed or gutted, at various deer drop-off locations across Wisconsin, such as Burbach's Hampton Market. The venison will be cut and wrapped, and donated to local food pantries.
John Krinke from Oshkosh is looking forward to his hunting weekend, and says he'll be hunting pheasants, deer and ducks. He hopes he'll bring back something to donate!
"I used to do it back in college, but haven't killed enough deer lately to fill my freezer, let alone donate to anybody else," Krinke said.