Hunting Accident File > Safe Hunting?: > 2005

One Killed As Wis. Hunting Season Opens

Sunday November 20, 2005 3:46 AM

AP Photo WIMG501
Associated Press Writer

BLACK EARTH, Wis. (AP) - A hunter was fatally shot by a colleague, and a juvenile accidentally shot himself Saturday as Wisconsin's deer hunting season opened amid racial tensions stemming from last year's deadly attack on a group of hunters.

On the second day of the 2004 season, a Hmong immigrant killed six white hunters after he was caught trespassing in privately owned woods. He was sentenced earlier this month to life in prison.

Law enforcement officials worried tensions between Hmong immigrants and whites could lead to more conflicts during this year's nine-day gun deer hunting season.

But as of Saturday afternoon, Tim Zeigle, chief sheriff's deputy in Sawyer County, where the six were killed last year, said ``it's going wonderful.''

``It's been very, very quiet,'' he said.

The season started with favorable hunting conditions around the state, said Bob Manwell, a spokesman for the Department of Natural Resources.

Snow helped hunters spot deer, and the cold but not freezing temperatures allowed hunters to stay out longer without fear of their meat spoiling, he said.

In the northwest corner of the state, though, a 66-year-old man was accidentally shot and killed by someone in his hunting party near Webb Lake, Manwell said. A juvenile hunter in Grant County, in southwestern Wisconsin, accidentally shot himself, but not fatally, he said.

Manwell had no further information on either shooting Saturday.

According to state officials, more than 631,000 people received licenses to hunt the estimated 1.5 million white-tailed deer that roam Wisconsin's forests and fields. Saturday and Sunday are typically the busiest days of the season.

At Black Earth Meats, about 20 miles west of Madison, Mike Roder beamed as he held the 11-point antlers from one of the largest bucks he's killed in 30 years - a prize that will soon be mounted on his wall.

``It was an excellent day,'' said Roder, 46, who said he shot three deer in 30 minutes on a friend's property near Fennimore. ``I knew it was going to be a good year.''

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