Eight hunting-related incidents were reported to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission in 2010, including one that resulted in a death.
Of the incidents, two involved the discharge of a rifle, two involved the discharge of a shotgun, two involved the discharge of a muzzleloader, and one each involved the discharge of a handgun and a fall from an elevated stand. Injuries were self-inflicted in five incidents and caused by someone else in three.
In four incidents, the cause was careless handling of a firearm and in one each the cause was victim covered by shooter swinging on game, victim in line of fire, dropped firearm, and fall from an elevated stand.
“All of these incidents were preventable,” said Mike Streeter, Nebraska hunter education coordinator.
In the fatal incident last October in Washington County, the 14-year-old shooter was following the 38-year-old victim down a trail. The shooter was carrying a loaded, capped, cocked muzzleloader as he crossed a log. The muzzleloader discharged into the victim’s back.
Hunting incidents resulting in injury or death are rare in Nebraska. The injury rate per 1,000 hunters commonly is lower than .01 percent.
Nebraska has about 170,000 hunters each year, and, over the past 10 years, there have been nearly 12 incidents a year. There were 12 incidents, including two fatalities, in 2009.
“Hunting safety is a concern for everyone and Nebraska hunters do an excellent job of ensuring safety each year,” Streeter said. “Safe hunting is no accident. Follow the rules of safe hunting and enjoy the great outdoors in Nebraska.”
For a list of available hunter education classes in Nebraska or to view a full report on the Nebraska 2010 Hunting Incident Report, visit huntsafenebraska.org.