Two deer hunters die on firearms hunt opening day

Meg Jones
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Two hunters were found dead in their stands in the same county on opening day of the gun-deer season.

An estimated 600,000 hunters will be in the field this weekend for the opening of the 2017 Wisconsin gun deer season.

Both men died in Marquette County, one of natural causes and one from a gunshot wound, Coroner Tom Wastart said Sunday.

Three other hunters were reported wounded in firearms incidents.

An estimated 600,000 hunters headed into the woods throughout Wisconsin for opening weekend of the nine-day firearms hunt.

Also Saturday, two hunters contacted the Juneau County Sheriff's Department after finding human remains. The unidentified remains were found in woods in the Town of Lyndon around 10:30 a.m., the department reported.

In Marquette County, a 62-year-old Shawano County man was found dead in his tree stand on private property in the town of Westfield by a member of his hunting party. The sheriff's department was notified around 6 p.m. and the man was pronounced dead at the scene an hour later.

The hunter died of natural causes, Wastart said. Firefighters from Oxford and the Town of Westfield helped retrieve the man from his 16-foot tree stand.

Another call of a dead hunter came in to the sheriff's department around the same time, this one in the Town of Newton when a man found his 57-year-old son dead in his ground blind, said Wastart said. The Marquette County man was pronounced dead at the scene at 6:52 p.m.

The man died of a gunshot wound but Wastart declined to give further details. Authorities are not searching for another shooter, he said.

An autopsy was completed Sunday; the results were not released. The names and hometowns of both hunters were not released. 

Three other hunters shot and wounded themselves Saturday.

The first incident happened around 5:30 a.m. in Brown County when a 49-year-old man shot himself in the right ankle, Department of Natural Resources Warden Mark Little said.

A 51-year-old man in Shawano County shot himself in the leg when he bent over and his holstered handgun fired.

And in Forest County, a 49-year-old Crandon man was sitting in the cab of his truck when he saw a deer around 9 a.m. When he attempted to move his rifle, it went off, sending a bullet through his legs and the truck’s seat and door.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.