Hunters around the state have probably been counting down the number of days to this weekend's gun deer season. The season opens up Saturday morning and goes through Sunday November 25th.
Before hunters head to the woods, there are some thing they may want to consider.
This weekend marks the time when the Department of Natural Resources says more hunters will be in the woods than any other time all year long.
It’s the opening of the annual gun deer season, and like every year, the DNR wants hunters to remember safety while in the woods.
Making sure hunters are wearing blaze orange can be a big difference maker. Also, ensuring all firearms are sighted and ready to go will make things much more efficient while in the woods.
One of the bigger things hunters need to know is about the licensing process. It can be a bit confusing for newer hunters.
Wildlife Biologist Jeremy Holtz says making sure you know the rules should be the main priority for hunters. "When it comes to a firearm season, when you buy your firearm deer license, it is for a buck and it’s for a buck anywhere in the state. That buck needs to have at least three inches of antler on at least one side."
That means that hunters who only hunt for meat need to be sure what they are shooting is not a button buck, or a first year- smaller buck.
Hunters must buy a completely separate doe tag to hunt antlerless deer. That tag cost an extra $12. If you do choose to buy a doe tag, the DNR will first ensure that zone's hunting quota has not been filled. There are 70 different zones around the state. The earlier you decide on a tag, the better the chance you have at actually getting one.
Hunters should also know that for the first year ever, cross bows will be allowed to be used throughout the nine day gun deer season.