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Friday, February 28, 2014
The 2013 New York hunting season had the lowest number of hunting related shooting incidents on record, according to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens.

“Sportsman education is an essential background to have in the field and teaches future sportsmen and sportswomen how to be safe, responsible and ethical hunters and trappers," Martens said.

New York’s hunting incident rate has fallen by more than 70 percent since the 1960s. The past five-year average is down to 4.3 incidents per 100,000 hunters, compared to 19 per 100,000 in the 1960s.

In 2013, a total of 19 hunting accidents —including two fatalities — occurred in the state, down from 24 in 2012. Fourteen of last year’s accidents where self inflicted. Investigations of all accidents are completed by trained Environmental Conservation Officers. The findings of these investigations are used to improve New York’s Hunter Education Course to ensure that the most common causes of accidents are addressed and emphasized during instruction.

While statistics show that hunting is safer than ever, accidents still happen. The DEC says it is important to remember that every hunting related shooting incident is preventable. Many, if not all of these incidents could have been prevented, if only the shooter or victim had followed the primary rules of hunter safety to:

  • treat every firearm as if it were loaded
  • keep your muzzle pointed in a safe direction
  • identify your target and what lies beyond
  • keep finger off the trigger until ready to fire
  • wear hunter orange

For more information, including the 2013 Hunting Safety Statistics, visit the Sportsman Education Program DEC web page at

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