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Wisconsin's gun-deer hunt opens Saturday with challenges

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Hundreds of thousands of deer hunters will hit the woods in Wisconsin Saturday, to start a nine-day gun season that poses a number of challenges.

First, it's a later season than usual -- and the DNR's Kevin Wallenfang says it could mean less rutting activity. He says many areas as fairly wet, and that could limit hunters' access. 

Also, Wallenfang says the deer will have lot more room to hide, because about 40 percent of the state's corn crop is still standing due to a late planting. 

This fall's bow hunting harvest is lower in the north, because lots of deer could not survive the long winter from a year ago. 

The current weather is not helping, either. Much of the state's mid-section received its first real snow cover this week -- but a lot of it's gone, as daytime temperatures continue to rise above freezing. 

That won't be the case this weekend, though. Highs Saturday and Sunday are supposed to be in the teens and 20's statewide. 

Deer hunters had good success a year ago. Bow hunters took a record number of bucks, and gun hunters shot their highest buck totals since 2007. A total of 368,000 deer was taken in 2012, more than each of the previous three years.