Tips to come back from a safe and successful hunt

The DNR wants safety to be your primary target this gun deer season
Safety tips for firearms, tree stands, clothing and ATVs
Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 6:25 AM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Hunters, the DNR wants safety to be your number-one target this gun deer season.

It’s meant to be a fun tradition -- and it’s a big one here in Wisconsin, of course -- but unfortunately some hunts end in injuries, or worse. Last year, wardens investigated eight incidents, including one person who died when a person in their hunting party was unloading their firearm and it went off; four other injuries were self-inflicted gun shots.

Especially for new hunters, but even if you’ve been doing this a long time, the Department of Natural Resources wants you to remember the letters T-A-B-K:

T - Treat every firearm as if it’s 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 the trigger guard until you’re safe to shoot

For clothing, make sure your visible. At least 50% of your outer clothing above your waist must be blaze orange or fluorescent pink. That includes hats or other head coverings.

Tree stand safety is really important, too. The DNR says stand-related incidents are one of the leading causes of hunter injuries.

Always wear a safety harness, always unload your firearm before attaching it to the haul line, and take your time getting in and out of your stand to make sure you have a firm grip and footing.

A couple of other mentions: Deer drives, make sure you plan your hunt so no one is in anyone’s line of fire.

There are laws for ATV/UTV usage. It’s illegal to discharge a firearm, including handguns, in or from any ATV or UTV whether it’s moving or not. The DNR also reminds you to wear a helmet and use the seat belt if using an ATV or UTV.

Also make sure you’re following all hunting regulations and only take aim during legal shooting hours (check out our Things to Know for Wisconsin’s 2023 deer hunt).

Just some of the ways you can make it a successful and safe hunt this year.