The death of an unidentified 50-year-old man in Marathon County has been confirmed as the state’s third firearm-related death during the nine day gun deer hunt. Jon King, Hunter Education Coordinator with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, said the man was found at the base of a tree with a gunshot wound to the chest. His rifle was hanging from the tree stand by a cord, and it appears the weapon discharged, striking him. The Marathon County Sheriff’s Department said investigators were called Sunday night at about 9:15 to a wooded area near Spencer in the town of Brighton. The hunter’s name and address have not yet been released.
The two other hunting season deaths both occurred during the opening weekend. On Sunday, November 22, a 39-year-old Alaska man was shot in the armpit while handing a rifle to a woman in a tree stand. The rifle was loaded at the time, and the woman accidentally pulled the trigger. The second death was caused when a stray bullet struck and killed 56-year-old Gregory Welk of Wild Rose. Welk was able to call 911 and his wife for help. He died at a Neenah hospital a short time later. That shooting remains under investigation.