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NYSDEC: hunters should be safety conscious

December 1, 2011

NEW YORK STATE — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has issued an advisory to hunters to use safety precautions this hunting season.
Studies show that people wearing hunter orange clothing are seven times less likely to be injured than hunters who do not wear the bright fluorescent color. Over the past 10 years, 15 New York state big game hunters have been mistaken for deer or bear and killed; none wore hunter orange.

Hunters are encouraged to review hunting safety tips at DEC’s website (www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9186.html) and pay careful attention to basic firearm safety rules that can prevent hunting-related shooting incidents:

• Point your gun in a safe direction.
• Treat every gun as if it were loaded.
• Be sure of your target and beyond.
• Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
• Remember to wear hunter orange.

Hunting accidents generally have been on the decline, continuing a 50-year trend of increasing safety. Reports indicate that 2008 and 2009 were statistically the two safest years in the history of hunting in New York State. The total incidents reported in 2010 were well below the average of 66 incidents per year from the 1990s, and 137 incidents per year during the 1960s. Big game hunting incidents continue to be very low compared to previous decades, despite the increase in rifle zones and the passage of the youth mentoring law in 2008.