As folks continue to enjoy hunting opportunities throughout the rest of the year, the DNR reminds hunters to be safe. This year’s nine-day gun deer hunt resulted in a total of eight firearm-involved injuries, including one death — more than average.
- Sauk County, Woodland Township: On Nov. 19, 2022, at approximately 11:10 a.m., a 22-year-old male was the victim of a gunshot wound to the thigh. During a deer drive, a 20-year-old male shooter, who was a driver in the hunting party, shot at a running deer, striking the victim, who was a stander in the hunting party. The victim was transported to the hospital and treated.
- Marquette County, Mecan Township: On Nov. 19, 2022, at approximately noon, while in a ground blind in a field, a 69-year-old female was the victim of a gunshot wound to the thigh. A 16-year-old male shooter was hunting from his ground blind in an open field, separated by a pond from the victim, when he shot at a deer, striking the victim. The victim was transported to a nearby hospital and treated. The shooter and victim were members of the same hunting party.
- Oneida County, Little Rice Township: On Nov. 19, 2022, at approximately 1:30 p.m., a 24-year-old male suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the foot. The victim was repairing his rifle sling when his hand froze to the firearm. As he pulled his hand off the firearm, he hit the trigger, causing an unwanted discharge. The victim received medical treatment for the injury.
- Iowa County, Mifflin Township: On Nov. 19, 2022, at the close of hunting hours, a 15-year-old male suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the foot. The victim was unloading his firearm while sitting in the passenger seat of a truck when the firearm discharged. The victim was transported to a local hospital and treated.
- Green Lake County, Seneca Township: On Nov. 20, 2022, shortly after 9 a.m., an 11-year-old male was the victim of a gunshot wound to the chest. A 41-year-old male shooter attempted to unload his firearm while the firearm was placed in the backseat of a vehicle. The firearm discharged, striking the victim. The victim was flown via Med Flight to a hospital, where he died. The shooter and victim were members of the same hunting party.
- Forest County, Town of Hiles: On Nov. 20, 2022, in the afternoon hours, a 33-year-old male suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his little finger. The victim was manipulating his handgun when it discharged. The victim was treated for the injury.
- Jefferson County, Palmyra Township: On Nov. 25, 2022, at approximately 3:20 p.m., a 36-year-old male was the victim of a gunshot wound to the leg. The victim was deer hunting from a ground blind on private property adjacent to public hunting land when a group of seven individuals conducting a deer drive shot at two running deer. A 51-year-old male was identified as the responsible shooter. The victim was driven to the hospital and treated. The victim and shooter were not members of the same hunting party.
- Sauk County, Sumpter Township: On Nov. 26, 2022, at approximately noon, a 27-year-old male suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the leg. The victim was attempting to sit on the ground by a boulder when he lost his balance. He then had an unwanted discharge from his firearm. The victim was flown to the hospital via Med Flight for treatment.
The average hunting incidents per year for the last 10 gun deer seasons (2013-2022) is 6.4. In addition, there were zero fatalities in 6 of those 10 years.
“Hunting continues to be safe in Wisconsin,” says DNR Recreational Safety Section Chief Major April Dombrowski. “We are working with these single digits incidents that we continue to try to learn from and address any issues that we see that we can work towards in following seasons.”
Wardens remind all hunters to use the four firearm safety rules as a cornerstone for safe and successful outings for the upcoming holiday hunts and muzzleloader season:
- T– Treat every firearm as if it is loaded;
- A – Always point the muzzle in a safe direction;
- B – Be certain of your target, what’s before it and what’s beyond it;
- K – Keep your finger outside your trigger guard until you are ready to shoot.