It will be a warm opener for deer hunters this weekend.By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It will be a warm opener for deer hunters this weekend.

Seventy degrees on Saturday in November is unusual but not unprecedented. It was nearly that warm for the 2016 opener as well.

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The DNR says deer numbers are up this year and so are the number of hunters.

“High 60s and 70°. A lot of people will be out there,” said Jerry Riege of Capra’s Sporting Goods in Blaine.

Capra’s is seeing a record year for gun sales. A year ago they were selling 10 guns a day, now they’re selling 25 or more. And because of COVID-19, there’s been an ammunition shortage.

“From Remington, we used to sell a thousand boxes of one slug for a 20 gauge Sabot. We got 45 boxes this year, not a thousand,” said Riege.

Because of the shortage, Riege said he’s even given some of his own ammunition to kids who want to try the sport but can’t find slugs.

For families that do get out, there’s a lot to look forward to.

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“My dad and my grandpa, so three generations of hunters right here,” said Tanner LaMotte. He has been gone, serving his country overseas. So this year will be different in a good way.

“He’s inheriting my .30-06 which was my dad’s at one time,” said Lloyd LaMotte, Tanner LaMotte’s grandpa.

“It’s a big honor. Lots of stories this thing could tell. Big honor that it’s now mine,” said Tanner LaMotte.

And for the LaMotte’s, honor and tradition are even more important than bagging a trophy buck.

“This is all about playing cards and eating like kings,” said Tanner LaMotte’s dad Kip LaMotte.

If you do shoot a deer, the DNR recommend getting the meat into a cooler quickly because of the heat.

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They also recommend calling ahead to the meat processor because some of them are backed up due to the pandemic.

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John Lauritsen