Six Hunting Incidents On Opening Weekend

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is reporting six firearm-involved hunting incidents during the opening weekend of the 2022 gun deer season, Nov. 19-20. One of the incidents resulted in a death.

Green Lake County Sheriff’s Office and emergency medical services responded to a fatal deer hunting-related incident in the Township of Seneca in Green Lake County on Sunday, Nov. 20.

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 it was placed in the back seat 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 the victim were members of the same hunting party.

The Wisconsin DNR and the Green Lake County Sheriff’s Office express sincere condolences to the family and friends of those impacted by this loss of life.

The other five incidents were not fatal:

  • 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 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 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.
  • 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. 

“Compared to last year, opening weekend, we had three total incidents, and then we ended the gun deer season with six,” notes DNR Recreational Safety Section Chief Major April Dombrowski. “Overall, the whole hunting season of 2021, we had 12 total incidents.”

She says the increase this year can be due to a variety of things: visibility, cold temperatures, bulky clothes, amount of hunters, or even where hunters’ attention is during uncomfortable conditions.

Wisconsin’s 10-year average is approximately six hunting incidents for the gun deer hunt.

“As we conclude the gun deer season, we’re not out of the woods yet,” she reminds hunters. “We have holiday hunts, we have muzzleloader, we have those later seasons in December.”

Wardens remind all hunters to always use the four firearm safety rules as a cornerstone for safe and successful outings:

  • – Treat every firearm as if it is loaded
  • – Always point the muzzle in a safe direction
  • – Be certain of your target, what’s before it and what’s beyond it
  • – Keep your finger outside your trigger guard until you are safe to shoot.