(NY) Hunter safety always an issue


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Drizzt
February 17, 2003, 07:45 PM
Hunter safety always an issue


February 16, 2003

J. MICHAEL KELLY
OUTDOORS WRITER

An optimist might summarize New York's 2002 hunting-safety report by noting that more than 600,000 licensed hunters went afield, and only 61 of them were involved in shooting accidents.


Pessimists, on the other hand, would emphasize the fact that 61 accidents is four more than the state's sportsmen and women logged in the previous year.

They'd also observe that the 2002 accident total included two fatal shootings.

Then again, those of us who tend to look at the bright side could reply that two deaths was half as many as law enforcement agencies recorded among hunters in 2001.

Statistics can be bent and manipulated, but the big picture makes it clear that hunters can be proud of their long-term safety record.

During the 1960s, New York hunters averaged 137 shooting accidents a year. By the 1990s, the rate had declined to 66 accidents per annum, and the downward trend is continuing. In 2000, the state set a modern record low of just 43 hunter-shootings.

Of course we can always do better, although a variation of one or two accidents a year per 10,000 participants is statistically insignificant.

One thing that is both encouraging and discouraging - depending on your viewpoint - is the fact that virtually all of accidents are avoidable. Time and again, they occur when the shooter violates a cardinal rule of safety, by pointing a gun in an unsafe direction or firing at a target that has not been positively identified as a legal game animal.

Thirty-eight of last year's accidents, including both fatalities, occurred among deer hunters. There were 10 turkey hunting accidents, five among rabbit hunters, and two among coyote-seekers. One accident victim was after unspecified game when he was wounded.

According to the accident report summary provided by state Sportsman Education Coordinator Wayne Jones, shotguns were used in 45 hunter shootings and rifles in 11. Four accidents involved muzzleloaders and one shooter used a handgun.

http://www.syracuse.com/search/index.ssf?/base/sports-0/1045215505127564.xml?syr

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jmbg29
February 17, 2003, 10:13 PM
I teach Hunter Ed. here in WA st. We don't have the stats for 2002 yet, but in 2001 we had 8 firearms related hunting accidents. That's out of roughly a quarter million hunters total.

The year before I think we had 7. And one of those was a fatality.

To me it sounded like a father and son were involved IIRC the 73 year old was sitting in the driver's seat, and the 37(?) year old had laid his rifle on the passenger's seat and was operating the action to unload the gun, when he managed to set it off. The bullet smashed all the way through the victim's pelvis and out through the door. The victim died not long after.:( :mad: :cuss:

I love to hunt, and I certainly like to see other people enjoy it, but idiots really :cuss: me off!:fire:

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