Close up image of a white-tailed deer buck amongst a scenic winter landscape

The DNR reminds hunters to make safety their number one target as they head out into the field this gun deer season. / Photo Credit: iStock/Lynn_Bystrom

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds hunters to make safety their number one target as they head out into the field this gun deer season.

Nine firearm-involved injuries and one fatality were reported during the 2020 nine-day gun deer season. Wisconsin’s 10-year average for hunting incidents during the gun deer season is 6.8. Most of the incidents are a result of the unsafe handling of a loaded gun by hunters who have had hunting experience.

Hunters can do their part to keep Wisconsin a safe place to hunt by following these firearm safety rules:

  • – Treat every firearm as if it is loaded
  • – Always point the muzzle in a safe direction
  • – Be certain of your target, what’s before it, and what’s beyond it
  • – Keep your finger outside your trigger guard until you are safe to shoot

In addition, hunters must follow all hunting regulations and only take aim during legal shooting hours.

Anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1973, must have a hunter education certification to purchase a hunting license unless hunting under the Mentored Hunting Law. To learn more about safe hunting in Wisconsin and to register to take a hunter education course, visit the DNR website here.

DNR Violation Hotline

Anyone with information regarding natural resource violations may confidentially file a report by visiting this website or calling or texting 1-800-847-9367. The hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Trained staff will relay the information to conservation wardens for further investigation.


All harvested deer must be registered electronically by 5 p.m. the day after the deer is recovered. GameReg is simple, fast and convenient for hunters. The system will prompt hunters to answer a series of questions. A unique harvest authorization number is required.

Hunters have three options to register their deer:

More information regarding electronic registration is available by visiting the DNR webpage here.

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