In spite of the Packers' regular season opener, hunters took more deer this weekend in the final summer hunt aimed at testing deer for Chronic Wasting Disease.
In all, the state Department of Natural Resources estimates about 165 deer were killed in the three-county area in central Wisconsin over the weekend. Those numbers are much higher than any of the other opening weekends for the three week-long hunts throughout the summer.
DNR spokesman Greg Matthews believes hunters wanted to get a head start on the fall season. If they kill a doe in the eradication zone, they earn the right to kill a buck.
The bow hunting season starts Saturday, and the gun hunting season starts late next month in special zones where herd population is high.
The summer hunts are a way for the DNR to gauge how far the fatal brain disease has spread. So far, 31 of the 954 deer killed this summer have tested positive for the disease, which causes deer to waste away and die.