RHINELANDER - On Monday morning, the DNR offered 1,350 bonus public hunting tags for antlerless deer in Oneida County.
Within an hour, they were all sold out.
"I got here early this morning and got number 25 so 24 people beat me here," said Paul Hunsicker.
Hunters like Hunsicker lined up at the DNR Service Center in Rhinelander for their chance to shoot an extra deer this season.
"I live back in the woods a little bit and I get seven of them in the yard all the time. I'd be glad to take one out so it doesn't eat my flowers and my garden all the time," said Hunsicker.
Hunting licenses usually define the type of weapon the hunter must use.
However, the ones sold Monday are less restrictive.
"These antlerless tags, they're good for any weapon," said conservation warden Christopher Bartlet. "[It] doesn't matter if it's a crossbow, vertical bow, or firearm. But, they are public or private land specific and county specific."
Bartelt said it was like Christmas morning for many of the hunters when they bought their bonus tag.
The sale is part of the DNR's strategic mission to maintain balance in local ecosystems.
"You have too many deer, and all of a sudden our forests suffer because some of the native tree species won't be able to grow under the grazing pressure," said Bartelt. "You have too few deer, and now you don't have enough food for natural predators and for sportsmen to enjoy."
The hunters woke up early to get their tags because of their love for the sport, but Hunsicker said it's about more than just the kill.
"It's just fun being out there. It's the kind of thing where I don't care if I get one or not. I just love being in the woods," he said.