The deer were out this past weekend for the opening weekend of Wisconsin’s nine-day gun-deer season.

Dennis Schnitzler, of Schnitzler Sports Store, said quite a few deer were taken this weekend.

“I can’t give a number, but we assisted about 25-30 people to register their deer,” he said. “More people are realizing we will help them register.”

The 2018 hunt appears to be a successful one for all deer hunters, Schnitzler said. Sportsmen reported seeing an increase in deer, particularly does, this season.

Don Roscovius, owner of Rosco’s Live Bait, also reported that hunter’s experienced good luck this past weekend.

“They’ve been bringing me some hides,” he said. “I haven’t heard of any jumbo deer being shot yet ... but I’ve seen some pictures of some nice deer, so they’re getting a few. I hunted Saturday and Sunday myself. We didn’t have much luck, a few does walked by, but they had fawns and I’m not going to (shoot those). There was a little buck that was running in the bush, but we let him go.”

Testing boxes for Chronic Wasting Disease have been set up at both Schnitzler Sports Store and Rosco’s Live Bait, and both have been utilized. Schnitzler said 18 deer heads have been left in the box at his store, and Roscovius’ store collected seven.

In fishing news, those who have gone out have been successful, Schnitzler said.

“Guys going fishing are doing quite well,” he said. “A few guys on backwaters of the Black River say there’s enough ice to go out on, and the guys going out are doing fairly decent. For me there’s not near enough ice, but every year you get guys that crawl out as fast as they can. On the Mississippi the guys fishing it are catching walleyes and seem to be doing pretty decent on that.”

Roscovius agreed that the ice is too thin for him to recommend that people venture out on it to fish.

“One guy on Lake Tomah (reported) pretty thin ice. I had another guy checking it this morning — pretty thin yet,” Roscovius said. “In Warrens, some of the marshes up there have four inches of ice already, so they’ve been fishing a little bit of that. Friday I had some guys go over to Necedah to the Yellow River reservoir ... there’s open water over by the dam. I suppose some of the backwater might have three inches of ice.”

The Department of Natural Resources reports that ice is starting to form on shallow bays at Buckhorn State Park.

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Meghan Flynn can be reached at meghan.flynn@lee.net.

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