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Hunting Accident File > Safe Hunting?: > 2004

COUNTY ACCOUNTS FOR FIVE OF 40 2003 HUNTING ACCIDENTS

November 30, 2004

In 2003, a total of 40 hunting incidents were reported in South Dakota, including one fatality. Five of the incidents (12.5%) occurred in Hand County.

According to Game, Fish and Parks, more than 200,000 people were licensed to hunt in South Dakota in 2003, so the percentage of incidents resulting in injury related to the number of people hunting is very low. However, GF&P notes that it doesn't mean much to those who have been personally involved.

Of the incidents reported, 72.5 percent involved pheasant hunting. Part of the reason for the large percentage was the increased pheasant population in 2003.

The reported Hand County incidents include:

  • Burning trash disturbed a family of raccoons that retreated to the rafters of a shed. The shooter climbed into the rafters with a rifle and began shooting at the animals. One shot penetrated the wall of the shed, striking a nine-year-old boy standing near the fire. The bullet entered the victim's arm at the elbow and lodged in the bone at that location.
  • Victim and a companion were hunting pheasants when one pellet from a shot fired by an unidentified hunter in an adjacent field struck him in the hand.
  • Victim was hit in the hand by one shotgun pellet fired by an unidentified member of his hunting group.
  • Victim was hunting with a group of 12. While victim was bent over picking up a downed bird, another bird flushed nearby and at least three persons fired at that bird. Victim was struck in the left arm by five shotgun pellets.
  • Shooter and victim were walking on opposite sides of a shelterbelt while hunting pheasants. The victim got ahead of the shooter and the shooter could not see the victim when he fired at a flushing bird. The shot struck the victim's eye, chin and back with a small number of pellets.

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