Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pennsylvania Hunters Set Safety Record

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pennsylvania Hunters Set Safety Record

Article excerpt

Back in the bad old days, Pennsylvania hunters were involved in hundreds of hunting accidents every year.

Not anymore. In 2013, 27 incidents were reported representing a decrease from 2012 and a record low. According to a new report from the state Game Commission, which has been tracking hunting accidents since 1915, there had never been fewer than 33 hunting-related shooting incidents in a single year.

Game Commission executive director Matt Hough attributed the upward trend in hunting safety to requirements that hunters wear blaze orange during most hunting seasons, and the state's hunter- trapper education program, which last year included 40,971 students. Since hunter education began in 1959, hunting-related shooting incidents have declined by nearly 80 percent.

"There's still work to do," Hough said, in a written statement. "Even one incident is too many and, as the record shows, we do not take hunter safety lightly. That said, we continue to be encouraged by record-low numbers of incidents and the continuing trend of safer hunting in Pennsylvania."

An incident rate is established by computing the number of accidents per 100,000 participants. The agency reported the 2.85 incident rate for 2013 was 20 percent lower than the 2012 rate of 3.52. Two of the 2013 incidents were fatal. There has been at least one hunting fatality in Pennsylvania every year except 2012, when there were none. The leading causes of 2013's hunting-related shooting incidents were unintentional discharge and a victim being in the line of fire.

Mentored Youth Fishing Day

Nearly 2,000 kids registered to get a free permit to participate in a new program that encourages experienced adults to take a kid fishing. Started as a limited pilot program last year, Mentored Youth Fishing Day will be held May 10 on 41 designated lakes (the original dates, March 22 and April 5, were rescheduled due to unseasonable cold weather and ice). …

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