At least four deer hunters were seriously injured during the weekend across Iowa, but officials with the state Department of Natural Resources say overall, the season’s going well so far. D-N-R spokesman Alan Foster says given the vast number of hunters who were fanned out statewide, having only four injuries shows relatively decent odds.
Foster says there were likely 80-to-90-thousand licensed deer hunters in the woods and fields over the weekend, along with several thousand more pheasant hunters, taking it to likely 100-thousand hunters. He says of the four hunters injured, three were Iowa men and the fourth was a young woman from Wisconsin.
Foster says “Obviously we’d like to see none like we had during the first shotgun season but to only have four and only one required an overnight (hospital) stay and hopefully, this is just a good lesson.” He says the mistakes or mishaps of a few can serve as good examples to the thousands of other hunters. Foster says “You need to be careful out there. You need to wear that blaze orange. You need to know where your muzzle is pointed at all times. If you’re not actually in a hunting situation, get that gun unloaded and back in the case and then do your visiting.”
The D-N-R says 59-year-old Larry Peterson of Arnolds Park was shot in the wrist Sunday near Estherville when his gun slipped from his hands, hit the ground and discharged. Also Sunday, 32-year-old Raymond Wolff of Norwalk was shot in Lucas County. Foster says Wolff was sitting at the base of a tree and used the butt of his gun to try and remove a branch that was poking him in the back. When he did, the gun discharged, removing the top two-thirds of his right index finger, which was covering the muzzle of the barrel.
On Saturday, 41-year-old Patrick Crisci of Sabula fell out of his tree stand 20 feet to the ground, landing on his head. Crisci was able to walk to his truck, drive home and call 9-1-1. He had a fractured neck and back but was not paralyzed. Foster says another Sunday accident involved a 16-year-old Wisconsin girl who was accidentally shot in the leg while hunting in Allamakee County, but details aren’t yet available.