CABLE, Wis. (AP) – Some northern Wisconsin business owners are concerned about how new restrictions on deer hunting will impact their bottom line.
For many resorts, bars and sporting goods stores in northern Wisconsin, the nine-day gun deer season is one of the busiest times of the year.
In an effort to increase a deer herd that has been reduced by two harsh winters, the Natural Resources Board has adopted a new rule allowing hunters to take only bucks in 19 northern and central counties.
Ken Thoreson, co-owner of Solon Springs Mercantile, said the rule change could deter out-of-towners from traveling to the area because they won’t be able to hunt a doe.
“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,” Thoreson told Wisconsin Public Radio.
James Bolen, a resort owner and executive director of the Cable Area Chamber of Commerce, said some hunters favor the rule change because they 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 see reduced business this November, but should focus on the future.
“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,” Bolen said.