"This weekend I want to see that big buck, of course." - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

"This weekend I want to see that big buck, of course. Just like everybody else."

(WAOW) -- No gun-related deaths were reported during last year's Wisconsin deer season. But that doesn't mean hunters should let their guard down.

Many hunters are champing at the bit, waiting for sun up on Saturday to start gun-deer season.

"This weekend I want to see that big buck, of course, just like everybody else," said hunter Ben Austin. "You're going to see your best opportunities right away on that first weekend."

DNR wardens said hunters need to be careful and not let adrenaline take over.

"A lot of the accidents happen out there where there's 650,000 hunters," said DNR warden supervisor Randy Falstad. "They get excited and they see deer and they're not looking beyond what is going on."

The DNR said no deaths were reported during Wisconsin's 2010 gun-deer season. But even accidents can be cause for concern.

"It's always a traumatic experience for the shooter and the person that got shot," said Falstad. "Even though there weren't fatalities, there was one very serious accident within the team."

Hunters will have to deal with new changes this year. For the first time, bow hunting will overlap the nine-day gun-deer season. Bow hunters will have to adapt to new rules.

"They have to know they can hunt but they have to wear blaze orange when they're out there bow hunting and they have to use their bow hunting license," said Falstad. "They cannot shoot a deer with a bow and then put a gun license on it."

Another new rule -- hunters can transport their bows and guns in their vehicles without a case as long as they're not loaded. Some said it could save precious time, but it could also open the door for other accidents.

"An unloaded gun never killed anybody," said Falstad. "But people, when they don't put them in the case, they tend to forget that they have to unload them also."

DNR wardens said hunters should treat any gun as if it were loaded and remember to point the muzzle in a safe direction. They said hunters should know where their target is -- and what lies beyond -- and warn hunters to keep their fingers off the trigger until they're ready to shoot.

"You've got to be a pretty seasoned vet, shoot a lot of deer to be able to handle the nerves because it's exciting every time you see that nice buck come through," said Austin.

Seasoned hunters out there are aware of these tips. DNR wardens said it's good for everyone to keep them in mind as hunters get ready to head out this weekend.

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