Truth Stranger Than Fiction In The Deer Woodson Jan 1, 2013
One of the most interesting documents prepared each year by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources issues is the chief warden’s detailed report on the state’s nine-day firearms deer season. This 50-page, single-spaced review of Wisconsin’s largest annual outdoors event reveals things like total citations written, 994; most common violation – illegal baiting – 208; number of buildings shot, 27; number of convicted felons carrying firearms, 16; and total warnings issued, 1,627.
Wisconsin hunters phone in thousands of odd and dumbfounding incidents and violations during the state’s nine-day deer season in November, including about 2,500 that resulted in citations or warnings.
Beyond the numbers, conservation wardens from around the state detail the most fun, odd, dumbfounding or downright stupid events they investigated during deer season. The Wisconsin DNR’s chief warden, Randy Stark, is too professional to hand out annual “Head-Scratcher Awards” for the funniest incidents or most outrageous offenses. But, I’m not so constrained. Therefore, I offer these awards for Wisconsin’s November 2012 deer season:
Slowest Return to Vehicle
Warden Michael Young investigated a call about a hunter lounging in a lawn chair on an Outagamie County road. The caller claimed the man was drinking beer, and wearing sunglasses and blaze orange. Warden Young soon learned the 63-year-old hunter had gotten lost while hunting, and was actually drinking water and wearing photo-sensitive glasses. But yes, he was sitting along the road. Why? The hunter was so exhausted that he would walk, stop, open his chair, rest and repeat. Young took pity and gave him a ride to his vehicle a mile away.
Fastest Return to Vehicle
Warden Dave Oginski, Ashland, saw a 15-year-old hunter running down a road in southern Iron County. The youngster said he was returning to his deer camp after shooting a doe. How far is camp? Four miles. Why would someone drop him off so far away? No big deal. The boy plays basketball and runs cross-country races, and needed the exercise. Besides, the youth said, “I don’t think they thought I’d actually shoot a deer.”
Conservation wardens stay busying during deer season, often stopping at deer camps to ensure all deer are properly registered.