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Wisconsin 2018 Deer Hunting – The Face of Real Gun Safety

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Some intriguing statistics have emerged in the wake of Wisconsin’s 2018 annual whitetail deer hunting regular gun season.  This particular sporting season runs for 10 days starting in mid-November, and is one of the most anticipated times for Wisconsinites (as well as sportsmen and women from other states who understand the abundant opportunity to claim antlers and venison in the Dairy State).


According to an article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, official data released by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on Tuesday, November 27th provides an overview of the harvest, and the health of the deer hunting sport in the state. Generally, the harvest was up over 2017 – even if license sales were down.   

Of particular interest, however, is the data compiled and provided by the DNR on safety.  

In short, the data is strikingly positive.  

For the entire 10 day regular gun deer season from November 17-25, there were only three non-fatal shooting incidents reported for the entire state.   Read that again – only THREE NON-FATAL shooting incidents!  

And now for the best part:   For that 10 day season – the state of Wisconsin sold 576,277 gun deer licenses.  In other words, over a half a million hunters purchased licenses to venture into the wild with firearms…and yet, there were only 3 shooting incidents, none of which were fatal.  Moreover, while we may not know the exact circumstances for each of those 3 incidents, chances are likely they were unintended – from things like accidental cartridge discharge – and not malicious.    

As a percentage of accidents per licensed hunter – only 0.00052 – those numbers are far less than statistically significant.  In fact, the Wisconsin DNR makes clear that the 2018 gun season was the safest deer hunting season in state history.   

Keep in mind, during that regular gun season, hunters are either posted in stands and blinds, or walking the woods and fields (often in large groups) with a fairly diverse array of firearms – from repeating shotguns, to high-powered lever and bolt-action rifles, to handguns.  And yes – probably to the surprise of some folks – Wisconsin hunters are also equipped with semi-automatic sporting rifles with detachable box magazines like AR-15s.   


Now, for the sake of intellectual exploration, just think about those numbers for a moment.    

576,277 gun deer licenses sold this season.  If we take that number on its face – and assume that everyone who purchased a license to hunt actually made it out in the woods at least once in 10 days, that means there were probably hundreds of thousands of hunters pursuing game across the landscape at any one time.  The numbers would be particularly high on the opening day of the season, which tends to see the greatest surge of hunting participation.  Of course, Wisconsin is a fairly large and mostly rural state – but even if it was only 100,000 people out in in the wilderness with firearms, that is still a lot of people.  

The point of all this is that despite what many in the media and the pro-gun control crowd would like you to believe, the overwhelming majority of Americans take the ownership and use of firearms very seriously.  The numbers in Wisconsin from a hunting season just a few days ago bear these facts out.   Additionally, it is logical to assume that the seasonal data from other major whitetail deer hunting states – such as Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Kansas, and Ohio – is similar to that in Wisconsin.   

Further, this data is a remarkable testament to the truth about real gun ownership, actual gun safety (not the current political euphemism used by certain gun control groups to conceal a gun control agenda), and responsible gun use in America today.   


In an era with endless media dwelling on carnage and violence, these numbers in Wisconsin about positive gun use are a true good news story and stand in stark contrast to the narrative endlessly pushed by the gun-control crowd and their allies in the elite media.  

If you’re seeking to find what the face of real, actual firearms safety and responsible gun ownership looks like, you need look no further than the state of Wisconsin and its 2018 whitetail deer hunting gun season.  Clearly, the sportsmen and women in Wisconsin are doing something right.         

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