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New rules for this year's gun-deer season in Wisconsin

DNR says several new rules in place in 2016

New rules for this year's gun-deer season in Wisconsin

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - This Saturday, thousands of hunters across the state will once again head into the woods looking for that big buck.

But officials say that before you head out, there are new rules you need to know.
Over 200,000 deer were harvested last year, and hundreds of thousands of hunters are expected to take part in this year's gun deer hunting season in Wisconsin.

The Department of Natural Resources says there are plenty of new rules in place this time around, and officials say hunters should review those rules before they head out into the woods.

It's a welcome time at Gander Mountain in Onalaska.

"It's our busiest time of the year," store manager Dana Mellgren said. "From November into December is when we do the majority of our business."

The lead up to the gun deer hunting season brings customers in for a variety of reasons.

"It's going to be hand warmers, mittens, hats -- some folks wait until this week to buy a new gun," Mellgren said.

But besides what you're wearing out in the woods, officials with the DNR say it's important to know how to hunt this year.

"There's quite a few changes that have taken place this year," Wisconsin DNR conservation warden Dale Hochhausen said.

One of those changes has to do tagging.

"There's no longer a back tag requirement," Hochhausen said. "You still need to carry a license out there, and you can display the gun deer license in a number of different ways this year."

Hunters can now display the license through paper, a driver's license, an identification card, or through their phones.

Another change is with a hunter's carcass tag.

"They used to be on a durable, valeron piece of paper, but now basically it's going to be a paper type carcass tag, and they're going to be required to carry that with them in the field."

That change may be why some hunters will want to plan ahead.

"You're going to want a baggy, something to tie it around the antler or the leg, so that you can have a carcass sight tag on that deer," Mellgren said.

Whether it's through clothing or ammunition, stores are ready to help you get the big one.

"It's fun for us to help them with that, and to get them out in the woods and get ready to hunt," Mellgren said.

In addition to the typical blaze orange, blaze pink clothing will be allowed out in the woods this year.

At least 50 percent of clothing must be one of those colors.

The 2016 gun deer hunting season starts Nov. 19 and runs through Sunday, Nov. 27.

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