A new restriction on shooting does in northern Wisconsin has business owners expecting less traffic this fall.
For many bars, resorts and sporting goods stores in the Northwoods, the nine-day gun deer season is one of the busiest times of the year. Ken Thoreson, who co-owns Solon Springs Mercantile in Solon Springs, says the significant change in hunting regulations shouldn’t deter local hunters, but it may keep out-of-towners from driving up.
“The largest impact will not be from local people but from non-resident hunters that would come to our area, which is definitely going to be an economic impact for our business, and many other local businesses in the area,” said Thoreson.
James Bolen, a resort owner and executive director of the Cable Area Chamber of Commerce, expects local hunters will be happy with the change because many feel deer have been overhunted due to cheap and virtually unlimited doe tags.
“The population has just been really, really low up here and so some type of measure has to be taken in order to increase the herd,” said Bolen. “The key to that is to have more does survive the season and survive the winter and then have their young in the spring.”
Bolen says his resort and other businesses may feel the pinch this November but that it’s for the best: “It’s going to hurt a little bit in the short term but in the long term it’s really what I think everybody agrees the deer population needs.”
Doe permits will not be available for most hunters in 19 northern counties and four tribal reservation deer zones.