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More people hunting during the pandemic

Tips if you're new to the sport
Pandemic hunters 1
Pandemic Hunters 2
Posted at 4:45 PM, Sep 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-24 15:41:11-04

HILBERT (NBC 26) - — Many of us are trying to find new activities during the pandemic and one of them starts in the woods.

"The best thing about archery is anyone can do it," said Tom Rand.

With deer license sales up around 18% already this year, according to the Wisconsin DNR, more hunters are in the woods and that means more hunters are in the shop.

"I've seen a lot of new faces," Rand said, he's the manager at Advanced Archery in Hilbert.

Rand said sales have been good this year, they're up 10 to 15% even after having to close for two months during the beginning of the pandemic. While this sounds like a good thing, it hasn't been smooth sailing.

"It's hard to get arrows and strings and cables, things you think wouldn't be a problem, are really a problem. Normally it takes me 3 days to get in a set of string cables, now its two-and-a-half weeks."

Luckily, Rand said he had a fair amount of supplies stocked up; but resources are on short supply, so if you're new to the sport you might have to be patient.

"I'm able to do what I can," Rand added, as he said a big part of his job now means calling suppliers every day, trying to find out what they have in stock. "I have a number of resources."

With archery season underway in Wisconsin, Rand whose been hunting for 52 years has a big of advice for those taking their first try in the woods: "There's been more big bucks saved by cellphones than people care to shake a stick at."

So be sure to stay off the phone. He said you're out in the woods to disconnect from everything going on anyway, so why not leave the technology in your pocket. One other tip he adds includes getting your bow fitted correctly for your draw length. Rand said it'll help you not get discouraged and help you stick with it.