It’s important to be safe out there when hunters are pursuing their passion. Results of the 2017 hunting seasons relative to hunting-related shooting incidents were recently released by the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and last year saw the second-lowest number on record, 19. Of those 19 incidents/accidents, 14 of them were two-party firearms incidents, five were self-inflicted and one resulted in a fatality. Of the final total, more than half involved a violation of hunting laws or regulations.
With more than 500,000 hunters in the state, the accident rate continues to drop. In fact, the past five years are the safest on record. The lowest number of accidents ever recorded came in 2016 when just 13 occurred. This is a tribute to the state’s trained volunteer hunter safety instructors certified by DEC.
For the first time, DEC kept track of tree stand injuries under a separate list. A total of 12 incidents were reported and investigated. Of those 12, six proved fatal. Of those 12 accidents, 75 percent were not wearing any kind of a body harness. There will be more of a focus on tree stand safety in hunter education courses moving forward. For a complete of these statistics visit www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7860.html.