Just six hunting-related incidents were reported in Kansas in 2015, tying the record low set in 2013. Unfortunately, one hunter lost his life. While six incidents is an amazingly low number considering hunters recorded more than 5 million hunter-days last year, it doesn’t lessen the impact on a family and community who lost one of their members.
Once again, most of incidents were the result of careless firearm handling. These types of incidents concern those involved in hunter education because they are preventable and stem from a violation of one of the four basic firearm safety rules: treat every firearm as if it loaded; always point the muzzle in a safe direction; keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to fire; and never climb a fence or other obstacle with a loaded gun. All hunters must remember to: “Load your brain before you load your gun,” because the most important piece of safety equipment a hunter can have in the field is between his or her ears.
There were also five elevated stand incidents, including one fatality, reported last year. A full body harness/fall arrest system should becorrectly usedany time a hunter leaves the ground. But a full body harness/fall arrest system is not a parachute, so it will not protect a hunter if not attached to the tree.
When you compare hunting-related incidents to the number of incidents reported for other activities per 100,000 participants, hunting is safer than cheerleading. And the trend in safe hunting can be directly attributed to the dedicated efforts of the 700 Kansas Hunter Education Program volunteer instructors, who have taught and certified more than 500,000 Kansas students since 1973.
To find a Hunter Education class near you, visit ksoutdoors.com/Services/Education/Hunter.