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Terrain dangers may await gun-deer hunters

Posted at 2:45 p.m. on November 20, 2019 The Brillion News MADISON – The early winter weather that intruded on autumn has left Wisconsin with some treacherous landscape and waterway conditions for hunters out to enjoy the nine-day gun deer season, which iopens on Saturday, November 23. State Department of Natural Resources Chief Conservation Warden Todd Schaller said hunters like some snow coverto help with seeing and tracking deer. “However, the ground is saturated statewide, leaving wet conditions and ice forming on ponds, lakes, streams,” Schaller said. The result is a possibility of walking into a marsh or a swamp that has an ice cover concealed by the snow. “The hunter will not know until that first step and the ice breaks, possibly causing a fall into the water with the firearm,” Schaller said. “The marsh or swamp that the hunter believes is usually a certain depth may be quite a bit deeper due to the saturated conditions. If a hunter falls into deeper water, the next danger is the onset of hypothermia.” Schaller urged hunters to check the hunting area this week before the gun deer starts. ” What you thought is normal is not normal this year,” he said. Here are more easy-to-follow ice safety tips: > Ice usually looks thicker and safer than it is. > Consider all ice unpredictable. > Cracks and changes in the thickness of ice may be difficult to see. > Ice is never completely safe under any conditions. > Go out in the field accompanied by a friend in case either of you would get into a threatening situation. > Contact local people in areas where you hunt to ask about ice conditions. > Carry a cellphone and let people know where you are going and when you will return home. > Wear proper clothing and equipment, including a life jacket or a float coat to help you stay afloat and to help slow body heat loss. > Carry a couple of spikes and a length of light rope in an easily accessible pocket to help pull yourself or others out of the ice and to safety. > Do not travel in unfamiliar areas, especially at night. > Know where a lake has inlets, outlets, narrows that have currents or springs which can thin the ice. > Take extra mittens or gloves, and always have a dry pair.



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