The 22 hunting-related shooting incidents last year was the second lowest number on record, the commissioner for the state Department of Environmental Conservation announced.
Those incidents included one fatality involving a person hunting small game, Commissioner Joe Martens said.
Eight shootings were self-inflicted, 11 involved members of the same hunting party and there were three shootings where the victim and shooter didn’t know each other.
For the first time on record, no incidents occurred during the 2014 spring turkey season, Martens noted.
The DEC has been keeping records since the 1960s; incident rates are per 100,000 hunters. The average rate for the past five years was 4.3, compared to 19 in the 1960s.
The majority of incidents involve deer hunters and long guns, according to data available on the agency’s website.
The lowest number of incidents on record was 19, recorded in 2013. That total included two fatalities.
All incidents are investigated by environmental conservation officers and their findings are used to improve the state’s Hunter Education Course.