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DNR officials remind hunters about basic gun safety during deer season

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - With the start of the gun-deer season just three days away, Wisconsin officials remind hunters not to forget their basic safety lessons. 

The DNR says most gunshot hunting accidents are caused by basic mistakes in firearm safety. 

Last year, the Appleton Post-Crescent said there were 28 hunting incidents throughout Wisconsin -- and the state has averaged 30 such incidents per year over the last decade. 

So far in 2013, officials say there have been 18 gun-related hunting incidents, including the death of a squirrel hunter in Marathon County. 

Over the past two years, about half of all hunting mishaps involved members of the same parties who misidentified targets and shot their partners instead. One hunter was wounded in Waushara County last year after his partner thought he was a squirrel. 

The DNR's new chief warden, Todd Schaller, says the big key is communication among group members before they go on deer drives. He says hunters should know where their companions are at all times.