Anyone with a good amount of experience hunting has most likely heard a story of injury or fatality someone has experienced because of an accident with a weapon. Whether it may be lack of safety procedures, being under the influence of alcohol, or just a lack of awareness, many have been harmed or killed while hunting.
This article from the Houston Chronicle reports that Texas’ hunting fatalities are on a record low this year, even though the number of hunters has increased.
In 2015, Texas’ 1.2 million licensed hunters set records giving the state’s hunting community important goals toward which they can aim as they prepare for the start of 2016 autumn hunting seasons that begin in three weeks.
They can go a long way in reaching those goals – continuing a decades-long decline in hunting-related injuries and accidents that this past year saw record-setting lows in hunting-related accidents and fatalities – by paying close attention to where they aim their shotguns and rifles.
“Understanding and following basic safe hunting practices, especially knowing your safe zone of fire and keeping your gun’s muzzle pointed in a safe direction at all times, would prevent a very large percentage of the accidents we see,” said Steve Hall, who heads hunter education programs for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “Those were the most common causes of hunting-related accidents last year.”
Hitting the mark
The good news – and it’s very good news -is that those types of accidents and all hunting-related accidents resulting in injury or fatalities are significantly much less common than they were just a couple of decades ago. This past year, Texas hunters set records for the lowest number of hunting-related accidents in the 50 years since the state began standardized gathering of such data. Texas hunters also set records in 2015 for the lowest rate of fatal accidents and lowest rate of total accidents per 100,000 licensed hunters since standardized record keeping began in 1966.