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Hunting tips to stay on target

Hunting tips to stay on target

Lori Yerdon
Directorate of Communication and Public Affairs
U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center

While the rules and seasons for hunting vary from state to state, safety is one common factor that should always be consistent.

The number of hunting-related accidents occurring nationwide varies. According to a report from Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources, 28 hunting accidents and four fatalities were reported there during the 2012 season. Between July 1, 2011, and June 30, 2012, no fatal hunting accidents were reported inside Washington state, and only five nonfatal accidents were recorded.

From fiscal 2008 through fiscal 2013, 25 hunting-related accidents and two fatalities involving Soldiers were reported to the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center.

One of the Soldiers was shot and killed by a .22 caliber rifle while hunting with fellow Soldiers. According to reports, one of the other Soldiers shot a raccoon but didn’t kill it. When he tried to shoot the raccoon again, a hunting dog bumped his rifle, with the round striking the Soldier.

The other Soldier was running on an authorized post trail when he was fatally shot by a hunter.

"The deaths of these two Soldiers are unfortunate and unacceptable," said Lt. Col. James Smith, director, Ground Directorate, USACR/Safety Center. "Unfortunate because the loss of even one Soldier is tragic, and unacceptable as these losses adversely affect our combat readiness."

In most states, hunters are required to wear blaze orange during hunting season. However, hunters aren’t the only individuals who should adopt this practice. Hikers, joggers, campers, horseback riders and anyone involved in other outdoor activities near hunting grounds must be aware of hunters potentially sharing the same real estate. One of the easiest precautions is wearing blaze orange so hunters can see them.

"Army installations have guidelines for hunting and use of training areas," Smith said. "However, by the same token, individuals participating in non-hunting outdoor activities need to be cautious and have situational awareness of possible hunters near the same area.

"The types of hunting accidents reported to us often involve falls from tree stands, negligent discharges, slips and trips and even fires," Smith continued. "It’s important that Soldiers don’t let their guard down while hunting. Even the most mundane of tasks has the potential to become an accident if someone is complacent."

  • 8 January 2014
  • Author: Army Safety
  • Number of views: 7660
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