The 2015 New York hunting season proved to be one of the safest on record and yielded the first year without a hunting-related shooting fatality since the 1950s according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). DEC’s 2015 Hunting Safety Statistics report highlighted a total of only 23 hunting incidents, the third lowest number on record, with 10 incidents self-inflicted and 13 two-party incidents.
This is the first year without a hunting-related shooting fatality in New York since record-keeping on hunting statistics began in the mid 1950s. 2015 also continued the trend of declining incidents with New York’s hunting-related shooting incident rate (incidents per 100,000 hunters) declining almost 80 percent since the 1960s. The past five-year average is down to four incidents per 100,000 hunters, compared to 19 per 100,000 hunters in the 1960s.
This year’s report indicated that eight of the victims in the multi-party incidents were not wearing hunter orange. Hunters should always assume every firearm is loaded; control the firearm muzzle in a safe direction; keep their finger off the trigger until ready to fire; identify their target and what is beyond; and wear hunter orange.
For more information on Sportsman Education course registration, access to the course manuals and worksheets, visit the Sportsman Education Program on DEC’s website.