WI: Hunters shoot almost anything...
November 20, 2009
Good hunting, but try to limit the damage to just the deer
This is the weekend that, once again, more than 600,000 people from every
state in the Union and many foreign countries will converge upon our
Wisconsin woods to, hopefully, shoot deer.
I say "hopefully" because last year they also shot at least 25 homes and
barns, three cars, one tractor with a farmer inside and a tree. One drunken
guy in the Waupaca area didn't just shoot the tree, actually; he blasted
away at the trunk until it fell over, according to state Department of
Natural Resources wardens. The wardens found out because, when the tree went
down, it hit him in the arm and he shot himself in the leg.
No word on what kind of tree it was or whether the tree-hunter planned to
field dress it.
Aiming your gun at a tree isn't the worst thing you can do, I admit.
Just ask the wardens from the Adams County area, who last year approached
a guy who was loaded - in more ways than one. According to a DNR report on
the 2008 hunting season, "the hunter pointed his loaded rifle at them using
his scope to see who (they) were."
Somebody buy that guy some glasses - and not the kind you put beverages
Maybe the warden from Minong in Washburn County had a better approach -
Two hunters in that area last year allegedly broke too many laws to count
when they shot a small buck at night out a cabin window while it stood near
a bait pile in a lighted area. They had just completed field dressing it,
according to the DNR report, when one of the hunters heard footsteps behind
them and whispered, "Who's there?"
From out of the darkness came another whisper in response: "Game warden."
Odd, isn't it, how hunters often underestimate the eyesight of their
fellow mammals? Or, in at least one instance last year, overestimate it.
A couple of wardens from Necedah and Black River Falls areas last year
found two hunters wearing camouflage because, the hunters explained, they
didn't want the deer to be able to see them.
Deer aren't the only ones with compromised sight - then again. One
scofflaw hunter south of Tomah allegedly stood on a road (which is illegal)
and shot three times at a deer that just wouldn't fall - or, amazingly, even
move. Seems that the guy just couldn't figure out why. He was reloading when
wardens intervened, reasoning they'd better stop the guy "from shooting up
the decoy even more."
The 2008 hunt, all in all, was one of the safest on record, so the stuff
I'm writing about is not the norm. Still, I've written in years past about
hunters shooting everything from a Bible to a piano to a black horse. And
last year, in addition to 277,000 deer, they illegally shot seven bears, a
number of wolves and a tractor. In the last case, a farmer in Dodge County
was sitting inside waiting for corn from a combine to fill up his hopper,
according to wardens. While he sat there, two windows on the tractor's cab
doors were shot out - apparently by a hunter with a rifle 300 yards away.
Bullets, of course, often don't travel nearly as far.
Two wardens from Douglas and Burnett counties, investigating how exactly
a hunter managed to shoot himself in the toe, determined he had been inside
a vehicle at the time his rifle discharged. Turned out the bullet went
through more than his foot. It also went through the floor before hitting
one of the tires.
He later told wardens he'd been showing his friend how to unload.
No word on whether, as the hunt begins this year, anyone has bothered to
show them an easier way.
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