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Nine-day deer hunt begins this mornng

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Ellsworth, 54011
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

Rifles are cleaned and oiled, everyone is wearing blaze orange and Wisconsin's woods are filled with deer hunters. The nine-day gun deer season kicked off at dawn today.

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Some experts say scaling back the unpopular earn-a-buck program has excitement at a higher level today. It will be totally gone next year. That program required hunters to kill a doe before he or she could go after a trophy buck. Hunters said the Department of Natural Resources was inflating its estimation of the state deer population and earn-a-buck forced them to bypass too many trophy bucks. Many said the billion dollar a year sport was in jeopardy.

This year it doesn't feel that way. More than 600,000 licenses were sold to hunters for this season.

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