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Energy & Environment

Stepp Says Safety, Mentoring Key To Deer Hunt

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The Wisconsin 9-day gun deer hunt begins on Saturday. During the 2013 hunt, there were 8 gunshot wounds,  but none proved to be fatal. DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp says while incidents are unfortunate, it's important to remember there are hundreds of thousands of hunters in the woods. She says the department has worked hard to educate hunters ....

"....we at the department emphasize safety as well as the average gun clubs that are out there, learn to hunt programs, the mentored hunting programs. There's no better advocate for hunting safety than a hunter that is looking to mentor a new hunter, so we're all just really pleased with that....."

Hunter education specialists  use the T-A-B-K formula as in treat every firearm as if it is loaded,always point the muzzle in a safe direction, be certain of your target and what’s beyond it, keep your finger outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot.

In an interview with DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp,  she says DNR mentoring programs are bringing more women and young people to hunting...

"...we've got our $5 youth license that is going to be available this year. We're also working on getting more women involved, which we're seeing that trajectory going up between women and youth. It's all about mentoring people, getting people out there for the first time. The first time I went deer hunting I was hooked. You cannot keep me out of the woods every season...."

Stepp says one of the keys to hunting is a time for everyone to unplug from the digital world and just have time to be still while also making memories for generations.

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