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Thousands sound off on 16-day gun deer season

Thousands of people let state officials know what they thought of a longer deer hunting season in Wisconsin.

The Department of Natural Resource's Keith Warnke said hunters generally don't like starting the gun season a week earlier than normal but there still seems to be more support if a week is added to what's being done now.

The DNR says it will review the public comments, before giving a recommendation to the Natural Resources Board in time for its December meeting.

The agency held 11 public hearings to find out what people thought about extending the gun season from nine days to 16, as an alternative for keeping the state's deer herd under control.

Hunters were fed up with the old Earn-A-Buck program which forced hunters to take antlerless deer before shooting bucks.

More than 1,600 people attended the public hearings. And more than 6,000 others wrote letters, e-mails and online comments about the proposed change. This year's nine-day season begins Saturday.

It always ends on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.