Is Hunting In New York State Safer Than Ever?
Hunting and fishing are outdoor sports that are often passed down from generation to generation. As gun legislation and safety laws are argued about in the media, some parents wonder if it is safe to hand the hunting tradition down to their children. Well, at least in New York State, hunting has never been safer.
Reports say that in the 1930's and 1940's hunting accidents accounted for two or three dozen fatalities in New York State. With numbers like that, parents may not want to be sending their kids into the woods looking for dinner. Things have certainly changed for the better in the safety category. According to a March report by the NYSDEC, 2021 marked the fewest number of hunting-related shooting incidents (HRSI) since New York’s hunter safety program was signed into law in 1949.
According to adirondackalmanack.com, there were 98 hunting related shooting incidents in 1991. There were 110 in 1979, and 166 in 1966, 13 of which were fatal. Yes the number of people hunting has reduced by 20% since the 1960s, however, the hunting related shooting incident rate has declined almost 80 percent. This incident rate decline has been consistent since the 1949 hunter safety program went into effect.
Of the 9 incidents that occurred in 2021, 2 were self-inflicted and 7 were two-party firearm incidents. Of those 9 incidents, 8 of the shooters involved received their hunting certificate prior to the online course being offered, and 1 had no hunter education or hunting license. This season so far, according to Bill Conners, an awesome outdoors writer for poughkeepsiejournal.com, into the first few weeks of deer season and there have been no reports of Hunter Related Shooting Incidents or of hunters tumbling out of a tree-stands in the Hudson Valley. That is all terrific news. Safe hunting out there.