There’s an uneasy feeling among many involved in this year’s deer hunting season that starts in Wisconsin on Saturday, says the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. A year ago, six hunters were killed by a trespasser, a man from the Hmong culture who opened fire after being berated and ordered off their land. Law enforcement officials, local hunters, and members of the Hmong community are also sensing the uneasiness, and wondering how the slayings of the Rice Lake hunters on the second day of the 2004 season will affect the coming hunt.
About 9,000 Hmong are expected to be among the 625,000 hunters participating in the gun deer season, which runs from Saturday to Nov. 27. White hunters contend that the Hmong regularly trespass on private property and violate hunting regulations. The Hmong say they have been harassed by white hunters angered by any encroachment on hunting land they believe to be their own domain. The state has produced public service announcements on radio and television this month, reminding hunters to be familiar with the land they are hunting; to stay off private property unless they have permission from the landowner; and to remain respectful in any confrontation.