ANTIGO - Dogs, cats and sometimes a gerbil seem to be the norm for a family pet. But there's a man in Antigo that has a different kind of animal that he cares for.
His name is Jim Draeger and he loves deer.
"I had a shooting preserve at one time, but I got rid of it because I couldn't stand shooting the deer," said Draeger.
He's owned the BP gas station on Hwy 45 just north of Antigo for about 25 years. He wanted to mix his love of deer with his gas station.
"It's a great tourist attraction," said Draeger.
There are about a dozen deer in a fenced in area that is the head turner.
"I want to be sure and careful so that I don't lose my privileges and I follow the rules very carefully," said Draeger.
He's had pet deer for about 50 years and they've been at the gas station about 15 years. He knows how to keep them happy and healthy.
"[With] ground corn and some other nutrients. We have fresh water," said Draeger.
The deer are very calm. But there have been a couple times where people have tried to break in and take the deer.
"We've had that happen twice. But the deer came right back," said Draeger.
People are always visiting to see the animals. And Jim knows that point blank, they're great to watch and get to see close up.
"I don't think there's anybody that doesn't like deer. Even if they want to shoot it or whatever they want to do with them, that's their privilege, but everybody likes to see them," said Draeger.