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18 county governments must decide on rifle hunt before Nov. 23

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Local governments in 18 Wisconsin counties have less than a month to decide whether to prohibit rifle hunting, when the deer season begins on November 23rd. 

A new rule from the state DNR allows rifle hunting statewide for the November gun season and the antlerless deer hunt in December -- except where local governments mandate otherwise. 

In the past, many southern Wisconsin communities banned rifle hunting, under the assumption that shotguns were safer -- and less powerful. However, DNR officials said they've learned in recent years that there are no real safety advantages to a shotgun-only deer season. 

Studies also found that a change to rifle hunting did not noticeably increase gun accidents. 

The DNR says there will no longer be any more county-wide rifle bans as of November 1st. The only exception is Milwaukee County, where all communities have banned rifle hunting. 

53 other counties have entirely switched to rifle usage, thus putting communities in 18 counties on the fence for now.