Hunting Season Gives Economic Boost to Area Businesses

Last year more than 360,000 deer were harvested in Wisconsin. But before hunters could take their prize home, each one had to be registered at a DNR approved registration station, exposing area businesses to more foot traffic.

Gina Erdman is a clerk at the Sunset Country Store just outside of Wausau. This is her 26th deer hunting season. She says on opening weekend they register anywhere from 200 to 400 a day, keeping their staff busy and businesses booming.

"It helps our business out very much," Erdman tells NewsChannel 7. "Sometimes people come in and they don't get nothing. It all depends they just register their deer and they take off. Then other times it helps us out a lot ya know getting ice or whatever they need."

Munchies like chips, peanuts and soda fly off the shelves during the nine day hunt. But things could be changing, with neighboring Minnesota allowing hunters to register their deer online. If Wisconsin follows suit, Erdman says that could mean less business for them, but adds that may not necessarily be a bad thing.

"I would like the idea just because when you're busy during the week, and this goes for bow hunting season too, if you're really busy you don't have time to go out there and register them deer."

Right now, Sunset Country Store has to bring in extra staff just to meet the registration demands of opening weekend.

Erdman tells NewsChannel 7 the DNR also gives registration centers 35 cents for every deer they register. That may not sound like much at first, but when you're registering up to 400 deer a day, that 35 cents adds up to a nice chunk of change.

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