SUPERIOR, WI (The Northland's NewsCenter) -- In Wisconsin, a beautiful, snow–filled weekend has ended with at least five people injured by gunshots.
The five shootings happened in Marquette, Marathon, Wood, Door, and Douglas Counties.
DNR Communications Coordinator Bob Manwell says all incidents involved hunters who didn't realize people were behind the deer they were shooting at.
"The worst injury, I believe, was a man who was shot in the chest," Manwell said describing the Marathon County incident that left one man in serious condition as of Saturday.
The latest shooting happened on Sunday in Wascott, WI. Here, DNR officials say a group was party hunting during a deer drive when a man was shot in the shoulder by one of his hunting companions.
Superior Conservation Warden John Krull responded to the incident which he says was "purely accidental." However, Krull said hunter safety was definitely at-question because "one person lost track of where a second person was located at."
In most accidental shooting cases, DNR officials say basic firearms safety rules are ignored by hunters.
Rules such as:
Treat every gun like it's loaded
Always Point guns in a safe direction
Know what's beyond your target
Keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to shoot
"Basically, our goal is zero hunting accidents," Krull said.
For the 2009 rifle deer hunting season, Wisconsin Conservation Wardens investigated 9 accidental shootings across the state.
According to current DNR records, shooting accidents occur at a rate of 1.25 for every 100,000 hunters in the Badger State.
The statistics are markedly decreased from an all-time high of 44 shooting accidents for ever 100,000 hunters in 1966.
Written for the web by Matt Standal