Deer-Gun Deaths Buck Safety Trend

Deer-Gun Deaths Buck Safety Trend

By Brian Miller. CREATED Nov 20, 2012

WISCONSIN-- The accidental death toll from this year's deer gun season is now four people. Two of those deaths are gun-related.

The deaths follow two consecutive years without a gun-related fatality during the 9 day gun deer hunting season. DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp says despite that recent success, hunting fatalities are an unfortunate part of hunting tradition. “When you've got several hundred thousand people out there with firearms all at the same time, we're obviously looking for as low of numbers as possible, but any fatality is a bad one,” Stepp said.

Deer gun incidents in Wisconsin have been steadily declining since the 1980's.DNR Safety Warden Jeremy Cords says the reason is more firearm safety awareness. Cords insists an accidental shooting means one of the four rules of firearm safety was violated.

"You can analyze each one of those incidents individually and compare the four rules of firearm saftey and identify which one of those rules was violated,” Cords said.

For Stepp and the DNR, it’s about adding the tradition of gun safety to the state's rich hunting history while working to grow the sport.

“We're going to be counting even more on the hunters to be our participants in conservation, our partners in managing deer, that's what this is about, it's a partnership," Stepp said. 

The DNR only keeps track of gun related injuries. One of the most common injuries is tree stand falls. A Green Bay man died Saturday when he fell from his tree stand.