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Tuesday, November 18th, 2008 -- 9:54 AM

EAU CLAIRE ? 'Wisconsin's' gun deer hunt is one of the most exciting times of the year for many folks. Rules and regulations are not that exciting, but they protect our natural resources and form the basis for a safe hunt. Here are 10 frequently asked questions and some answers.

1. Can I hunt the day before deer season?
No. You get two demerit points for even thinking about it. Hunting is not allowed on the Friday preceding the gun deer season, except for waterfowl hunting. A landowner and family members may sight in firearms on the Friday before the 9-day gun deer season on their private property. Firearms may also be sighted in at an established range during this period.

2. Can I take my child hunting if the child is without a gun or license?
Yes. He or she can tag along to observe the hunt. We recommend anyone in the woods during the gun deer season wear blaze orange as a safety precaution.

3. What handguns are legal for deer hunting?
Deer may be hunted with handguns loaded with center-fire cartridges of .22 caliber or larger and that have a minimum barrel length of 5 1/2 inches measured from the muzzle to the firing pin with the action closed.

4. What are the casing requirements for firearms?
The rule is as follows: "Enclosed in a carrying case" for firearms means completely contained in a gun case expressly made for that purpose which is fully enclosed by being zipped, snapped, buckled, tied or otherwise fastened, with no portion of the firearm exposed. No person may place, possess or transport a firearm, bow or crossbow in or on a vehicle, unless the firearm is unloaded and encased or unless the bow or crossbow is unstrung or is enclosed in a carrying case. A vehicle includes ATV?s and snowmobiles.

5. Can someone else transport my deer after it's legally tagged and registered?
Yes. Any person may transport a lawfully taken deer if it is properly tagged and registered. It is not necessary for that person to possess a hunting license.

6. Once i have killed a deer, can I continue to hunt?
Any member of a group gun-deer hunting party may kill a deer for another member of the party with a firearm if both of the following conditions exist:
A. At the time and place of the kill, the person who kills the deer is in contact with the person for whom the deer is killed. Contact means visual or voice contact without the aid of any mechanical or electronic amplifying device other than a hearing aid.
B. The person for whom the deer is killed possesses a current, unused deer carcass tag that is authorized for use on the deer killed. The person killing the deer may not leave the deer unattended until after it is tagged.

7. Can I hunt small game during the deer season?
Yes, if the season is open. During the gun deer season, all hunters other than waterfowl hunters must be wear outer clothing that is 50 percent blaze orange above the waist.

8. Can I use a light to shine wild animals?
Persons may not use or possess with intent to use a light for shining any wild animal while hunting or while in possession of a firearm, bow and arrow, or crossbow. Further, from Sept. 15 to Dec. 31, from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m., you may not use any light for shining wild animals.

9. What do I do if i lose my hunter education certificate?
Wisconsin law requires that anyone born after Jan. 1, 1973, must have successfully completed a hunter education course before he or she purchases any hunting license. This certificate must be presented when a license is purchased. -- If lost, a duplicate can be obtained by going in person or applying through the mail to a DNR license sales office. The current fee is $2.75.

10. How close must my 12-year-old son or daughter be to me to be under my supervision?
The law states that anyone 12 - 13 years old must be accompanied by an adult. Accompanied means within sight and voice contact (without the aid of any mechanical or electronic amplifying device other than a hearing aid).

Feel free to contact us with questions and/or comments.