Tuesday, January 31st, 2023
Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

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Sportsmen Since 1967

Kansas hunting accidents decreased in 2008

Pratt – The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP)
reports that there were 16 hunting accidents in 2008, with three
fatalities, two of which were not actually legal hunting incidents.
This is a decrease of three accidents from the previous year and is
a very small number considering that approximately 271,000 hunters
spent more than 3 million days afield.

The three fatalities were unusual for Kansas, where hunting
fatalities are rare. The first occurred on March 24 when the
shooter fired at a nongame bird roosting in a tree behind the
victim. Victim leaned in to watch and was struck in the head with a
.22 long rifle bullet. Alcohol was involved. The shooter was not
hunter education certified and is now serving time in state

The second fatality happened on Aug. 1 when a 68-year-old hunter
returned to his vehicle after coyote hunting. The man was feeling
dizzy from the heat and possibly had low blood sugar. With the
safety apparently off, he attempted to put a trigger lock on his
still loaded rifle in the cab of his vehicle. The rifle fired,
killing his wife, who was seated in the passenger seat.

The third fatality occurred when a 54-year-old hunter swung on
flushing quail and fired, hitting his hunting partner. The victim
(age 64) was at least partially screened by heavy weeds. The
shooter and victim were long time friends and hunting partners.
Again, the shooter was not hunter education certified. .

“All these incidents were preventable with proper observance of
the rules of safe gun handling and common sense,” explains Wayne
Doyle, KDWP statewide hunter education coordinator. “But while the
fatalities were tragic, the small number of accidents reflects how
hunting is getting safer. The last time we had more than 20
accidents in one year was 1995. By any calculation, that means
hunting is safe. The dedication of our many volunteer hunter
education instructors across the state has made this happen.”

Swinging on game accounted for 7 of the 16 accidents. Upland
bird hunters were involved in half the accidents. There were two
incidents on opening weekend of pheasant season and two on the
opening weekend of quail season. The average age of all shooters
was 39.

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