(11/15/12) You've heard that things generally happen in threes – and Wisconsin officials hope for a third straight gun deer season in which no hunters are shot-to-death.
The nine-day hunt begins on Saturday. And the D-N-R hopes to continue a one-of-a-kind safety streak. Only three November gun seasons in the last 160 years did not have a fatal shooting in Wisconsin. D-N-R chief warden Randy Stark credits the current record to the requirement that hunters take a safety course. Anyone born after 1973 must pass the D-N-R's safety course to get a gun license. Stark says much has been learned about the reasons for hunting deaths – and they can all be avoided by following basic rules like turning on the safety device when not hunting, and knowing your target and what's beyond it. Stark says one-third of all hunting accidents are self-inflicted, and another third occur during deer drivers when hunters are not sure of their targets and what's behind them. There were six gun-related injuries throughout Wisconsin in last year's deer hunt. That's the second-lowest total since 2004.