It's a record that all of us who hunt can be proud of and should brag about. 2016 will go down as the safest year on record for hunters in New York State!

According to a news released posted by the New York State Department of Conservation on Tuesday morning,

The State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today that the 2016 hunting season in New York had only 13 hunting-related shooting incidents, the lowest number on record since DEC began compiling hunting-related shooting statistics in 1958.

This year's report indicated that eight of the people involved in multi-party incidents were not wearing hunter orange.

With approximately 500,000 licensed hunters spending an estimated 10 to 15 million days afield each year, New York continues its trend of declining hunting-related shooting incidents, with the incident rate (incidents per 100,000 hunters) declining almost 80 percent since the 1960s. The past five-year average is down to 3.5 incidents per 100,000 hunters, compared to 19 per 100,000 in the 1960s.

DEC encourages hunters to follow the primary rules of hunter safety:

  • assume every firearm is loaded;
  • control the firearm muzzle in a safe direction;
  • keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire;
  • identify your target and what is beyond; and
  • wear hunter orange.

I have been hunting since I was 14 and have been around firearms for as long as I can remember. In every training course, class and certification instruction, it's always "safety first!"

Knowing your target and what's beyond is probably one of the most important (if not THE most important) rule I can offer from what I have learned. It seems to me, based on these stats from The NYSDEC, that the incidents from 2016 could have been prevented.


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