Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports on the results of Wisconsin’s gun deer season.

Wisconsin’s 2018 gun deer-hunting season was safest on record
https://www.jsonline.com/story/sports/outdoors/2018/11/26/wisconsins-2018-gun-deer-hunting-season-safest-record/2118774002/

With three non-fatal shooting injuries, the 2018 Wisconsin gun deer season set a record for hunter safety, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

“We’re going to call it the state’s safest gun deer season ever,” said Jon King, DNR conservation warden and hunter safety coordinator.

The 2018 gun deer season ran Nov. 17 to 25. Although the agency has not released a final tally of gun deer license sales, it is expected about 570,000 hunters were authorized to participate.

Prior to this season, the DNR considered 2014, with four non-fatal shooting injuries, the safest.

There has been a long-term trend toward fewer shooting incidents in Wisconsin gun deer hunting seasons, especially since hunter safety education was made mandatory in 1985.

In step with these changes, the shooting accident rate in the gun deer season was 10.6 incidents per 100,000 participants in 1985, 4.8 in 1995 and about 0.5 in 2018.

The DNR is investigating the three incidents that occurred this year.

The first took place 1:30 p.m. Nov. 18 in Marcellon Township of Columbia County where a 24-year-old shooter participating in a deer drive shot at a running deer but struck the victim, a 23-year-old male, in the foot. The men were members of the same hunting party. The victim was treated at a local hospital.

The second occurred about 5 p.m. Nov. 18 in the Village of Colfax in Dunn County. In this case, a 21-year-old male who was not wearing blaze orange was working on his downed deer when he was hit in the arm by a bullet from a 17-year-old shooter who thought the victim was a deer. The victim was transported to a hospital and released.

The last was recorded at noon Nov. 25 in Sauk County. A 39-year-old male had stopped hunting and was unloading his firearm, a handgun, when it discharged and the bullet struck him in the palm, King said. The victim was treated for the wound and released.

This all occurred with an increase in total tagged deer during the season:

Hunters registered 211,430 deer during Wisconsin gun deer season, up 7% from 2017
https://www.jsonline.com/story/sports/outdoors/2018/11/27/gun-deer-harvest-up-7/2123819002/

This is in line with trends over the past decades:

https://firearmusernetwork.com/lessons-learned-of-hunter-education/

https://firearmusernetwork.com/lessons-learned-of-hunter-education-2/

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