MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The day Wisconsin hunters have been waiting for all year is finally here.

The state’s nine-day gun deer hunt begins a half-hour before sunrise Saturday. The season runs through Nov. 25.

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State Department of Natural Resources officials say Wisconsin experienced a colder and snowier winter in 2017-2018 as well as a late April snowstorm but an excellent growing season is providing abundant food sources for deer statewide, fueling hopes for a successful hunt.

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DNR officials have designated Iron County as the state’s only buck-only management unit. Hunters there are allowed to kill only bucks in an effort to regrow the local herd.

Hunters killed 197,733 deer during last year’s nine-day hunt, about 130 more animals than in 2016.

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