Reading a press release by the PA Game Commission about their 2019 hunting shooting incidents, I thought it would be of interest to sportsmen here in New York State. Their spring turkey season was an …
Reading a press release by the PA Game Commission about their 2019 hunting shooting incidents, I thought it would be of interest to sportsmen here in New York State. Their spring turkey season was an all-time high for hunter safety. For the first time in their hunting history, not a single hunting-related shooting incident was recorded during the spring gobbler season.
Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans said, “Hunter safety has been at the forefront of the Game Commission's thinking for decades upon decades, and through effective requirements and programs to educate our hunters, incredible improvements have been made over the years. Hunting is as safe as it's ever been. But at the same time, we continue to work toward an even better safety record. Perfection is always the goal, and I couldn't be more proud of the perfect performance our spring turkey hunters turned in last year.”
Overall hunting seasons in 2019, there were 26 hunting-related shooting incidents, injuries caused by sporting arms while hunting or trapping. It was the seventh consecutive year with fewer than 30 hunter-related shooting incidents and one of the safest years on record. However, four of the incidents were fatal.
The Game Commission has compiled data on hunter shooting incidents since 1915. In its annual reports on shooting incidents, the commission establishes an incident rate by computing the number of accidents per 100,000 hunters. The 3.06 incident rate in 2019 was a decrease from the 2018 incident rate of 3.16.
Fifty-eight percent of incidents reported in 2019 were inflicted by others, and was the primary cause of shooting incidents. And 42 percent were a victim being in the line of fire. The second most common cause was the unintended discharge of a firearm.
Aside from there being no shooting incidents in the spring turkey season, there were none in the fall turkey season.
Shooting incidents in Pennsylvania have declined nearly 80 percent since hunter-education training began in 1959. In 2019, 30,821 students, 22,526 traditional course students and 8,295 online students received their Basic Hunter-Trapper Education certification.
This educational effort is spearheaded by a dedicated group of 1,828 volunteer instructors teaching hunters basic safety and advanced hunting skills.
jack danchak is the President of the Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs of Sullivan County.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here