By Tim Kowols and Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski
Hunters are once again being reminded of being safe as they head out into the woods for the beginning of the gun deer hunting season. According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, there were 11 hunting-related accidents last year in the state, including five during the nine-day season. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says the biggest source of calls they get is trespassing, which is an ongoing issue that can be easily prevented.
Joski also reminds hunters to make sure they have a clean shot at their target to make sure stray bullets do not hit other hunters or pieces of property.
This Saturday marks the beginning of the week long deer hunting season. While this event has many traditions, and memories which make it special to so many in our community, it also brings with it some re-occurring issues which deserve to be mentioned. The first of these issues is safety. By this I mean the safety of those participating in the hunting season, and those who choose to enjoy the beautiful outdoors as they would any other time of year. It goes without saying that for those who are hunting that there are two basic rules; know your target, and know what is beyond your target. Especially in the era of rifle hunting, the second of the two rules is very important. Although not intended, there always seem to be those few calls involving stray rounds.
If you are one of those individuals who just want to enjoy being outside over the next two weeks, be aware of the increased activity in the adjacent properties, and public lands. Although you are not required to wear it, and it isn’t the most stylish color, blaze orange is always a good choice. Also, whether you are hunting, or just going for a walk, always let someone know where you are going, and what route you are taking to get there.
The other issue which seems to become more frequent is that of trespassing. This is pretty self explanatory; if you don’t have permission to be there, don’t be there. Many property owners allow for others to be on their land for the purpose of hunting. This is not mandatory on their part, if they choose to say no, respect them for that decision and move on. Also don’t assume that just because you’ve hunted there for many years you don’t have to ask permission. Circumstances change and it is a good idea to re-establish these relationships each year. Probably wouldn’t hurt to bring some venison from last year as a sweetener. I wish everyone a safe and productive hunt.