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Hunters start gun deer season with COVID precautions

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OUTAGAMIE COUNTY (WKOW) -- Wisconsin hunters were out in the woods Saturday for opening day of the gun deer hunt, but many had to make some changes because of the pandemic.

Mike Lauer usually hosts more than a dozen people at his farm in Outagamie County, but this year he kept it to just four, including his son.

They were up before dawn and saw a deer in the first 10 minutes.

While it was a smaller crowd this year, they knew it was for the best.

"We have older parents and in particular my mom is a breast cancer survivor, obviously high-risk, and we didn't want to expose her," he told WBAY-TV.

As of November 16, sales for gun, bow, crossbow, sports and patron licenses reached 591,689, according to the DNR.

The DNR put out new guidelines this year, reminding people to keep COVID safety measures in mind.

Officials recommend registering your deer online or by phone, rather than heading to a deer camp or gathering at check stations.

The DNR also has a free Hunt Wild Wisconsin mobile app with information on property boundaries, electronic regulations, shooting hours, chronic wasting disease (CWD) sampling and deer carcass disposal locations. To download the app, search "Hunt App" on the DNR website,, or search for Hunt Wild Wisconsin in the iTunes app store or Google Play store on your mobile device.

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