POSTED: 8:24 AM EST November 22, 2004
UPDATED: 11:00 AM EST November 22, 2004
In addition to the killing of five hunters in Sawyer County over the
weekend, there were several other accidents and hunting-related deaths
across the state this weekend.
In Dane county Sunday morning, Jeffrey Johnson, 46, of rural Stoughton,
fell from a tree while climbing down to retrieve a deer in the town of
Christiana. He was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
In Forest County, two hunters fell out of tree stands Sunday afternoon.
One accident happened east of Crandon and the other about four miles north
of Wabeno. Both men were taken to the hospital.
In Clark County Sunday, Joseph Rickert, 60, of Racine, fell out of a tree
In Juneau County, a 47-year-old man was shot and killed in a
Fewer DNR Wardens Out This Year
Hunters are seeing fewer DNR wardens in the woods this season. The agency
is concerned with the lack of law enforcement.
"We've had to double up our regular wardens," said Warden Chuck Horn. "So
rather than having two squads in an area, we may have only one because
wardens are working together for safety purposes."
Chuck Horn: The DNR's warden force is at 175
statewide -- 27 positions smaller this year than last year due to budget
cuts and retirements. The state also had to cut money to fund nearly 100
deputy warden positions. They hope lack of presence doesn't affect hunters'
"If they know that we're out there, and there's a chance that they could
get caught, they're going to be less apt to do something stupid like
shooting off the road or maybe shooting in a dangerous situation toward
buildings or what not," Horn said.
Before the start of the deer season, 29 people had been injured in
hunting related incidents, compared to 17 last year.
Horn said hunters need to brush up on safety rules, such as knowing
what's beyond your target, keeping your finger off the trigger until you're
ready to shoot and treating every gun like it's fully loaded ... and
pointing guns in a safe direction.
The DRN is telling wardens they should take a couple days off during the
hunting season to rest, to try and fight burnout.