The Wisconsin gun deer season opens Saturday, and hunters are getting ready to take to the fields and forests to bag a buck or doe.
As you head out to your favorite hunting spot, it’s a good idea to give your tree stand or deer blind a once over.
State hunter education administrator John King says you want to make sure that your stand can still support you on your hunt, before you head out on opening day.
“Obviously on a metal stand we’re going to have some rust, so we want to just make sure that things are still good structurally for that tree stand if we leave it out there from year to year.”
Also check to make sure all the bolts and straps holding your stand to your tree are in good working order and give the ladder you use to get in and out a check as well.
If you’re using a heater in your deer blind, King says you want to make sure it’s working properly ,and to keep combustible materials away from it.
“Through the years we’ve had some people suffer injury and even death because of carbon monoxide poison, and then also we’ve had a few shacks catch on fire and burn to the ground.”
Be sure to sweep out the blind or shack as well, and make sure that there’s no extra critters sharing the space with you inside while you’re out hunting. You should also make sure your windows are clean and ready to open, and that your shooting lanes are clear.
If you find you’ve got an extra deer you can’t fit in your freezer or don’t need this season, consider donating it to charity. The Wisconsin deer donation program is back in action, and local butcher shops and meat processors are ready to handle your extra venison.
Stevens Point based People’s Meat Market co-owner Lee Falkavage says the process is very simple.
“There’s a paper you have to fill out. They want to know kinda where you shot it so if it does turn positive they can track that deer. So all you do is sign it off and drop it off and on your way you go.”
Hunters have donated over 90-thousand deer since the program started in 2000, which has put 3.6 million pounds of meat into food pantries.
You can find a list of donation locations online at https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/hunt/deer.html