Hunters registered 1,107 bucks and 627 does that they shot in Sawyer County over the opening weekend of the 2021 nine-day gun deer season, according to figures released by the Department of Natural Resources Tuesday, Nov. 23.

In Washburn County, hunters registered 1,522 bucks and 892 does opening weekend.

The state total deer harvest was 85,860 for opening weekend, compared to 99,832 deer registered during the same period in 2020.

Most regions of the state experienced excellent hunting weather, with cool temperatures and low wind on opening day. Visibility was lower due to lack of snow cover.

On Sunday, wind speeds increased and hunting effort decreased.

The DNR said light snow cover in the north will make for excellent hunting conditions for the rest of the season,, which runs through Sunday, Nov. 28.

Three firearm-involved hunting incidents were reported during opening weekend, two of them in Door County and one in Waukesha County.

• Door County, Brussel Township: On Nov. 20at approximately 6:45 a.m., a 40-year-old male suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the hand. The victim had placed his hand on the muzzle after pulling the hammer back on his firearm. The victim believed he pulled the trigger, and the bullet struck his left pinky. He sought medical attention, was treated and released. 

• Door County, Sturgeon Bay: On Nov. 21 at approximately 7:00 a.m., a 10-year-old male was the victim of a gunshot wound. A 45-year-old male shooter was hunting from his residence when he shot at a deer. The shooter attempted to unload his firearm, at which time it discharged inside of the house and struck the victim. The victim was transported to a hospital and treated.

• Waukesha County, Ottawa Township: On Nov. 21at approximately 6:21 a.m., a 30-year-old male suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the leg. The victim was in a tree stand when he tried to hang the gun on a hanger. The gun discharged, striking him in the right leg. The victim was transported to a hospital and treated. 

Wisconsin's 10-year average is approximately six hunting incidents for the nine-day gun deer hunt. The decline in incidents is the direct result of hunter safety education given by Wisconsin's volunteer instructors and conservation wardens.

Wardens remind all hunters to use the four firearm safety rules as a cornerstone for safe and successful outings:

T - Treat every Firearm as if it is loaded

A - Always Point the muzzle in a safe direction

B - Be certain of your target, what’s before it, and what’s beyond it

K - Keep your finger outside your trigger guard until you are safe to shoot.

To learn more about safe hunting in Wisconsin, visit the DNR website. 

DNR VIOLATION HOTLINE: Anyone with information regarding natural resource violations may confidentially report by calling or texting: VIOLATION HOTLINE: 1-800-TIP-WDNR or 1-800-847-9367. The hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Trained staff relay the information to conservation wardens.

(Copyright © 2021 APG Media)

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