OCONTO COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) – DNR Safety Warden Jeremy Cords was in Oconto County on Wednesday investigating the latest firearm-related hunting incident so far this gun season.
A 14-year-old is recovering after being shot in the leg while another teen was loading his gun.
“The importance of gun handling skills and safety is just paramount, and about 43-percent, or almost half of these accidents or incidents are involving unsafe handling practices,” Cords said.
Cords says deer drives are the other most common way hunters are injured or killed each year.
Two of the four non-fatal incidents this year occurred during drives.
Cords urges hunters to map out a safe strategy and to use caution when firing at a moving deer.
“We know that it’s a very effective way of hunting, but it’s also a dangerous way, so the people that are pushing, if they don’t have a gun that adds an element of safety.”
Cords says just about every incident is tied to a hunter not following one of the four rules of firearm safety.
“Treat every firearm as if it’s loaded, always control your muzzle, be aware of your target and what’s beyond it, and keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot,” Cords said. “So if everybody can do that, every time they pick up that firearm, we’re going to have a whole lot less of these incidents.”