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Safe Hunting?

State's Deer Season Tally for Hunters: 2 Killed, 13 Injured

ast Updated: Dec. 2, 2003

Thirteen hunters were injured by firearms and two were shot to death during the nine-day deer hunt that ended Sunday - the second safest hunting season in Wisconsin history.

While the numbers change from year to year, the circumstances remain the same. One-third of the hunting accidents were self-inflicted, and two-thirds involved someone getting injured or killed on opening weekend, the two days that see the most hunters and gunshots. Those figures remain fairly constant year to year, (Tim Lawhern, state Department of Natural Resources hunter safety education coordinator) said.

"Every case, every one of them, it's an example of extremely poor gun handling. You're either shooting yourself, or you're being shot by somebody you know. In most cases, you're being shot by a member of your own hunting group, and it happens during the deer drive when people are shooting at moving deer."

Both fatalities this year were hunters killed by another hunter.

Gerald Bierman, 67, of Janesville was shot in the pelvis by a hunting companion as they participated in a deer drive around 8:30 a.m. Nov. 23 in Grant County. William Mundt, 33, of West Bend died the same day when he was fatally shot in the abdomen by another hunter in Sheboygan County after hunting hours had ended.

The injured hunters - 12 males and one female - ranged in age from 15 to 65.

Among the injuries, five were self-inflicted. A 48-year-old man shot himself in the foot when he slipped while climbing into his tree stand in Crawford County on Nov. 22. Two hunters - a 45-year-old man and a 15-year-old girl - were shot in the hand when their firearms fell from their tree stands and went off in Waupaca and Vilas counties.

A 29-year-old man tripped while walking with his rifle in Sawyer County with his finger on the trigger and the safety off. He shot himself in the toe.

And a 59-year-old man was shot in the arm in Waushara County when he dropped his rifle while trying to pull on a glove.

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