LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW)-- Wisconsin's hunting tradition dates back to 1851. For the first time in state history, bow hunting will be allowed during this year's nine-day deer gun hunt.
The firearm deer season opens Saturday Nov. 19th.
For many deer hunters, the season is all about tradition.
"It is a big family deal. It is not just going out to hunt- it is a time for family reunions. I love it! I think it is a great opportunity to be with family, " said Ron Cormier, an avid bow hunter from Angelo, Wisconsin.
"We live for this time of year. We count down the days when one season stops and counting down to the next season, " said Corrine Bundy, an avid bow hunter from Sparta, Wisconsin.
"For the die hard bow hunter, this is going to be awesome! Many they didn't hunt during this time, but now they are going to be out there hunting," said Cormier.
"This is the peak of the rut for the more mature deer so for bow hunters to be able to be out there, it is a huge benefit for us because we live for this time of year. When one season stops we are counting down the days until the next season. So for those who haven't filled our tag yet it is a huge opportunity, " said Bundy.
Corrine Bundy started hunting when she was twelve and since has harvest deer with both a firearm and bow.
According to the Wisconsin DNR, Corrine is one of more than 600 thousand hunters that will take to the woods this year.
Ron Cormier is a veteran hunter; he has harvested more than 500 deer, has 35 years of experience and has exclusively bow hunted for the past 32 seasons.
According to the Wisconsin DNR, less than eight percent of hunters exclusively bow hunt, around 34 percent participate in both seasons and almost 58 percent only participate in the gun hunt.
During spring hearings, the DNR says it received hundreds of request to allow the archery and firearm seasons to overlap.
After years of consideration, Ron Lichtie a La Crosse Area DNR wildlife biologist says the DNR made the changes not only to accommodate hunters, but also to increase harvest numbers.
"The deer will eat themselves out of house and home. We need to help control the population," said Lichtie.
Whether it be the adrenaline rush, or enjoying the hunt with family, Cormier and Bundy say hunting season it the best time of year and is now even better because both broadheads and bullets can fly.
The 2011 archery season opened on September 17th and will run through January the 8th. However, Friday, November the 18th, hunting is closed to all hunters as a grace period for opening day.
The DNR also mandates that all archers participating during the nine day November hunt must meet blaze orange requirements.
For more information on regulations, log onto the DNR's website: www.dnr.wi.gov
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