It's a sport, it's a hobby, it's a multi-billion dollar industry... It's gun deer season, and it's less than two days away.
Deer hunting started out as a crucial way for people to stock up food for the winter, but as time passes, the sport is evolving into something as diverse as the hunters themselves.
Gregg Kvatek Reports:
THE GUN DEER SEASON IS A CHANCE FOR HUNTERS TO DECORATE THEIR WALLS WITH THE RACKS OF TROPHY BUCKS, TO FILL THEIR FREEZERS WITH DELICIOUS, NUTRITIOUS VENISON, AND OF COURSE, TO ESCAPE FROM THE HUSTLE AND BUSTLE OF THE REAL WORLD.
BUT IT ALSO SERVES A VERY USEFUL ENVIRONMENTAL PURPOSE... CONTROLLING THE DEER POPULATION.
John Dunn, DNR: "It keeps the population down...
Anytime you have too many deer concentrated, with too many numbers and a lot of physical contact which is something we definitely see in deer... that's where you run into disease and that kind of thing."
ANOTHER BENEFIT OF KEEPING THE POPULATION DOWN IS THAT IT KEEPS VENISON ON OUR GRILLS... AND OFF OF OUR GRILLES.
AND OF COURSE... DEER HUNTING IS BENEFICIAL TO THE LOCAL ECONOMY AS WELL... FROM RIFLES AND AMMUNITION, TO FINDING THE PROPER GEAR, HUNTERS SPEND BILLIONS OF DOLLARS EVERY YEAR SEEKING DA TIRTY POINT BUCK THAT HAUNTS THEIR DREAMS FOR THE OTHER FIFTY ONE WEEKS OF THE YEAR.
John Dunn, DNR: "So much else ties in to hunting, you've got arms and ammunition, gas, food, lodging... all of those things go hand-in-hand and it all adds up to a multi-billion dollar industry in wisconsin."
OF COURSE, THOSE DOLLARS CAN BE THE BREAD-AND-BUTTER OF THE FALL SEASON FOR LOCAL RETAILERS. AT BLAIN'S FARM AND FLEET IN CHIPPEWA FALLS, HUNTING IS BUSINESS... AND BUSINESS IS GOOD.
Mark Erickson, Blain's Farm and Fleet: "Overall, we've been doing very well, ammunition was running low for a while, but we just got an emergency shipment... with the warmer weather, heavy apparel isn't selling as much, but from tree stands to gun cases, we're really moving things."
MORE THAN SIX-HUNDRED-FIFTY-THOUSAND HUNTERS ACROSS THE STATE CAN'T BE WRONG... EVERY PENNY SPENT IN THE STORES IS WORTH EVERY MINUTE IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS.
AND FOR MANY, IT DOESN'T MATTER IF THEY NEVER SEE THE WALL-WORTHY TROPHY MADE FOR OUTDOOR MAGAZINES, IT'S JUST A GREAT CHANCE FOR SOME OF THE BEST FOOD THEY'LL HAVE ALL YEAR.
Tony Wold, Avid Hunter: "I like venison, so I like to get as many deer as I can throughout the year... If I see a buck, fine, but if not, fine... a deer is a deer to me."
Alex Nichols, 2nd Year Hunter: "I don't really care anymore, I just love being out there."
Gregg Kvatek Reporting: "No matter the type of deer hunters are seeking, the mood is still the same... It's time to get suited up and ready to rock."
AND OF COURSE, THE HUNT ISN'T ALL ABOUT THE HARVEST... IT'S CARRYING ON A FAMILY TRADITION, AND JUST HAVING FUN.
Alex Nichols, 2nd Year Hunter: "My second cousin hunts, and my Grandpa got me into it. I've been looking forward to it since I was little. It's really fun"
Tony Wold, Avid Hunter: I look forward to it all year... it's like a mini vacation."
John Dunn, DNR: "it's about so much more than just shooting a deer... it's about the camraderie, the deer camp, the tradition, it's part of wisconsin lore."
AND TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA OF HOW VITAL IT IS... ACCORDING TO THE WISCONSIN D-N-R, DEER HUNTERS HAVE HARVESTED, ON AVERAGE, AT LEAST 460,000 DEER EVERY YEAR FOR THE LAST 10... YET THE POPULATION HAS REMAINED CONSTANT
THE SEASON KICKS OFF SATURDAY MORNING AND RUNS UNTIL THE 25TH.