GREEN BAY, Wis. (NBC 26) — The 2021 Wisconsin gun deer season begins on November 20th, and many outdoor enthusiasts are already gearing up for the hunt.
OSMS foot and ankle specialist Dr. Karl Henrikson said he sees an increase in certain types of visits during hunting season.
"The first is your ground level fall: walking on uneven terrain, tripping over a rock or a root and maybe spraining that ankle or if things go worse having an ankle fracture," Dr. Henrikson said. "That's definitely common and something I see every year."
Dr. Henrikson says he fortunately doesn't see injuries resulting from accidental discharge quite as often, but certainly happens.
"The third that I see is a fall from a tree stand, and that can be one of the most severe," Dr. Henrikson said.
Both Dr. Henrikson and Jon King, a hunter education administrator from the DNR, emphasize the need for proper footwear relative to the type of hunting and terrain you are facing. Strong ankle support is the key to avoiding trips and falls.
"You can roll your ankle at any moment in time, so that obviously leads to some slips, trips and falls that way," King said.
The DNR reported a total of 21 incidents during all 2020 hunting seasons and three of those were a result of a trip or slip. One of those was fatal.
Furthermore, King also urges hunters to look to experts that have altered their loading routine in order to focus on safety.
"Don't load a round into the chamber until they're absolutely ready to shoot," King said. "So at that moment in time when the deer comes by, or they're elk hunting or pheasant hunting or whatever it is, we don't need to cycle a round into the chamber until we're ready to shoot. So if you do slip and fall, the end result would be no discharge of the firearm at that point in time or potentially injuring yourself or somebody alongside you."
The DNR tracks all hunting incidents they investigate after cases are handed over from responding sheriff's departments.