Tuesday, February 7th, 2023
Tuesday, February 7th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

2005 may be N.Y. hunting’s safest

Staff report

Albany — Preliminary reports are showing the 2005 deer hunting
season to be perhaps the safest in New York history.

DEC Sportsmen Education Administrator Wayne Jones reported late
last month that 14 deer hunters were injured in the recent deer
season, lower than the 2004 record low of 18 and well below the
five-year average of 27 injuries.

Three hunters died in deer hunting accidents, including one of a
self-inflicted wound. Two others were accidentally shot by members
of their hunting party.

Jones stressed that the numbers were preliminary “and only
include information we have in our files as of the date of the
report (Dec. 22).”

DEC’s figures, too, included no specific information about the
nature of the hunting accidents or the individuals involved.

Still, the overall numbers appeared encouraging in comparison
with previous seasons, and at a time when some sportsmen were
concerned that legalizing rifles for deer hunting in several
Southern Tier counties could create safety issues.

DEC officials said previously it appears none of the accidents
was related specifically to rifle use.

“There were no rifles involved in injury incidents in the new
rifle areas to date,” the report indicated. “However, one property
damage accident in Cattaraugus County involved a rifle.”

There was another reported incident in which a house was struck
by a rifle bullet, but the homeowner indicated it likely occurred
during an attempt to shoot a dog from the road and did not take
place while someone was attempting to harvest game.

In addition, one accident was reported in Chenango County, newly
approved for rifle use, but it involved a shotgun rather than a

New York’s deer season essentially ended Dec. 20, with the
exception of some special regulation hunting in Westchester and
Suffolk counties.

In addition to the 14 deer hunting accidents, including the
three fatalities, there were nine injuries during small game
season, one of which involved a fatal turkey hunting incident last
spring. The preliminary count of 23 hunting injuries for the 2005
season is the lowest on record, officials said.

“Barring an unusually large number of small game hunting-related
shooting incidents during the last days of December, 2005 will be
the safest hunting year un the history of New York State,” Jones
said in the report.

Heading into the 2004 season, deer hunting injuries, since 1993,
had never been below 20 and were as high as 37 in 2002. Small game
hunting injuries never dipped into single digits until the 2005
season, having been as high as 43 in 1993, 42 in 1998, and a low of
12 in 2003 until the 2005 season.

The tentative 2005 total of 23 hunting injuries is well below
the 2003 record low of 32. Total hunting injuries had topped 60
four times since 1993 — 67 (1993), 62 (1995), 64 (1998) and 61

The four hunting fatalities in 2005 is equal to the average over
the past four years, DEC official said. Three deer hunting-related
deaths this past season is also parallels the five-year average of
three fatalities.

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