Staying safe and healthy during Wisconsin’s gun deer hunting season

Deer hunting season preview
Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 6:24 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - The Wisconsin DNR wants safety to be top of mind tonight as hunters prepare for Saturday’s gun deer season opener.

Hundreds of thousands of hunters are expected to hit the fields and woods of Wisconsin over the 9-day hunt.

Whether it’s your first time or your 100th time, the DNR wants to remind all hunters how to stay safe this gun deer season.

Preparation is always the key to success, according to the DNR’s northeast region recreation warden Marcus Medina.

He says to make sure you’re well-hydrated and get a good night’s sleep. He also stresses the importance of having a plan and letting others in your hunting party know what that plan is.

“So generally speaking our hunters are getting out there and it’s dark out there you know the mapping out the plan is not only for you to know where your hunting party is going to be but also for others in case of emergency if they had to find you or if something were to happen, individuals know where to start looking.” Says Medina.

Medina also says to be sure to have the tools necessary to take care of yourself, such as basic first aid items. Understand where you are and where you are going to be in case something happens, especially if you don’t have cellphone coverage.

Tree stand safety is also a concern in Wisconsin. Hunters should make sure the tree they’re climbing into is healthy and rooted.

“We have a lot of dead ash on the landscape that can be dangerous.” Recommends Medina. “Although they are generally good trees to put a stand in, you don’t know if the core of that tree is going to be rotted out or not, so take a look at the tree. Ensure that it’s a good, rooted tree, alive and healthy, and then use a safety harness. Strap in while you’re climbing up the tree and accessing your tree stand.”

Medina urges hunters to familiarize themselves with their firearm, making sure they understand how it works.

And remember the four rules of firearm safety:

  • Treat every firearm as if it is loaded
  • Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction
  • Be certain of your target and what’s beyond it
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot

Medina’s final advice to hunters: understand your level of fitness and don’t push yourself too hard. Take a break and plan your hunt accordingly.

“Enjoy the time with your family.” Says Medina. “Enjoy the time with your friends and loved ones and ensure you’re just being safe and responsible, and ensure you have those firearm safety rules in the back of your head.”

Medina recommends looking at the DNR’s website to check regulations for your specific hunting zone.

If you’re planning on hunting in Wisconsin, the gun deer season opens this Saturday, Nov. 18 and goes until Nov. 26. If you are traveling up north to Michigan to hunt, the season opens Nov. 15 and goes until Nov. 30.