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Deer season passes without any gunshot deaths

A whitetail buck stands in an open field. photo courtesy Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

No deer hunters were shot-to-death, and only six were wounded during Wisconsin's nine-day gun season which ended yesterday. That's according to preliminary figures released by the DNR late this morning.

It was the second straight year there were no shooting deaths -- and the DNR said only three November gun seasons were held in the last 160 years without a fatal shooting. DNR enforcement administrator Tim Lawhern said the early numbers reflect a quote, "phenomenal season from a safety perspective," even though the agency would like to see no incidents at all.

The preliminary total were four fewer than last year's total of 10 shootings. And it would be the second-lowest total since 2004, when four shootings occurred and two hunters died. At least four hunters died from natural causes from last Saturday through Tuesday of last week. The DNR has not said how many deer were taken in this year's gun season. Preliminary harvest figures from the opening weekend were six-percent higher than the year before.