This weekend hunters are making their way to deer camp for the time-honored tradition of deer hunting. Wisconsin's nine-day gun deer season starts Saturday and runs through Dec. 1.

With an estimated 1.8 million deer on the landscape statewide, there are more hunting opportunities than ever. For the first time in a decade, all Wisconsin counties have antlerless deer hunting opportunities thanks to the abundant deer herd.

"Woven into the fabric of Wisconsin's culture, hunting is a long-established tradition we respect and value," said Gov. Tony Evers. "With each season, there is always something new to explore and something exciting to discover. Hunting is not only a part of our lifestyle, it is an important economic boost for local communities and the state. We wish all hunters a safe and successful harvest."

As of Noon Nov. 22, sales for gun, bow, crossbow, sports and patron licenses reached 690,928. Of that total, 464,120 are for gun privileges only.

"Wisconsin's hunting legacy runs deep. As folks are visiting with family and giving thanks this holiday week, many of you will also be making your way to hallowed grounds around the state," said DNR Secretary-designee Preston D. Cole Having such a large deer herd, I am excited about what this proposes for the deer hunt and its impact across Wisconsin. Good luck to all hunters and be safe."

Wisconsin is ranked second among all states in the number of resident and non-resident hunters.

"Take the time to introduce someone to your favorite sport," Cole said. "Help protect Wisconsin's hunting heritage and enjoy the thrill of helping someone experience their first hunt."

Use the DNR's Hunt Wild Wisconsin mobile app for everything Wisconsin hunters need in the field. The app shows property boundaries and shooting hours and new this year, hunters can find chronic wasting disease sampling stations and deer carcass disposal locations.

Users can find new public lands to explore, brush up on the regulations or listen to podcasts all with Hunt Wild Wisconsin. With mobile mapping, up to the minute shooting hours and more, hunters have all the tools to focus on what's important - enjoying your time in the outdoors.

To download this free hunting app on a mobile phone, search "Hunt App" on the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov or visit the iTunes app store or Google Play store on the mobile device. Be sure to check out a helpful tutorial to help navigate the app and learn its features.

The DNR will release preliminary sales totals for the opening weekend on Tuesday, Nov. 26.

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