DEER HUNTING: Start of 9-Day Gun Season Deadly
BY ROBERT IMRIE
Posted on Tue, Nov. 25, 2003
Two hunters were fatally shot and eight others suffered
mostly minor wounds in accidents during the first two days of deer hunting
in Wisconsin, a pace slightly ahead of a year ago, authorities said Monday.
State wildlife managers also reported hunters registered
122,080 deer following the opening weekend of the tradition-steeped season,
up slightly from a year ago when 120,660 deer were registered.
William Mundt, 33, of West Bend was fatally shot late
Sunday by another hunter in southwest Sheboygan County, sheriff's officials
Mundt was shot in the abdomen with a shotgun by a
41-year-old hunter from another party but both men knew each other, said Tim
Lawhern, the state Department of Natural Resources' hunter safety
Sheboygan County Sheriff's Capt. Dave Adams said the
accident happened after hunting hours when a hunter mistook a pair of eyes
as those belonging to a deer. Mundt was not wearing blaze orange clothing,
Adams said. The incident remained under investigation.
In the second fatality in Grant County, Gerald Bierman,
67, of Janesville, died Sunday after he was shot in the hip while hunting
with relatives near Lancaster, sheriff's deputies said.
Lawhern said Bierman was shot by a hunting companion who
fired five or six rounds at a running deer while both men participated in a
A year ago, there were two fatalities and 17 other
accidental shootings during the nine-day season, Lawhern said.
Historically, half of the shooting accidents occur during
the first two days of hunting, he said.
Nearly 645,000 hunters bought licenses to participate in
the 2003 season. The DNR estimates 1.4 million whitetail deer roam the
fields and woods — about 100,000 more than a year ago.
The DNR hopes 280,000 to 300,000 deer are killed during
the season. The slight increase in registrations for the opening weekend was
attributed to less-than-ideal hunting conditions, including 1.7 inches of
rain in the Madison area Saturday night and into Sunday, the DNR said.
The number of licenses sold rebounded 4.2 percent from a
year ago, the first hunting season after chronic wasting disease was
discovered in wild deer near Mount Horeb. The always fatal brain disease had
never before been found east of the Mississippi River.
Hunting continues through Sunday.
According to Lawhern, the eight other shooting accidents
investigated over the weekend were:
• In Crawford County, a 48-year-old man shot himself in
the foot when his gun slipped while he was entering a tree stand. The gun
fired three times.
• In Waupaca County, a 45-year-old man shot himself in
the hand when his muzzleloader fell from a tree stand
• In Vilas County, a 15-year-old girl shot herself in
the hand when her rifle fell from a tree stand.
• In Dunn County, a 50-year-old man who was a blocker on
a deer drive was shot in the wrist when a companion fired five times at a
deer running between them.
• In Sawyer County, a 29-year-old man shot himself in
the foot when he tripped while carrying his gun.
• In Shawano County, a 25-year-old man suffered facial
wounds when a companion shot at a deer and a shotgun slug ricocheted off a
• In Adams County, a 36-year-old man was grazed in the
chest when the gun of one of three hunters in a deer stand went off. The
bullet also went through another hunter's clothes.
• In Grant County, a 50-year-old man was grazed in the
hand. The shooter was unknown.
Hunters can avoid most accidents by proper gun handling,
positively identifying their targets and not shooting at running deer,
"It would help if you knew what people were thinking when
they did these things," Lawhern said. "This is pretty much predictable, as
past numbers indicate."