Hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin deer hunters will be heading out into the woods and fields this morning for the start of the gun season, armed with high-powered rifles and shotguns. That means safety is a constant concern, says Dan Hirchert of the DNR.
Hirchert says the state continues to prove each year when it comes to injuries and deaths attributed to hunting accidents. He says having hunters wear blaze orange and a mandate for them to take safety courses that started in the 1970s both have played a major role in that improvement.
Last year, there were 12 accidents during the nine-day gun season, but no fatalities. A Beloit man was killed on Christmas Eve by a gunshot fired by his 11-year-old son. They were hunting in Rock County during a special holiday season.
The situation is still a lot different from nearly 100 years ago, when 24 Wisconsin deer hunters were killed in 1914.
AUDIO: Dan Hirchert, DNR (:20)
John Colbert, WIBA