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Hunting fatalities rise in Arkansas

Article published Feb 25, 2006

Hunting fatalities rise in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Though fewer people were hurt in hunting accidents this year the number of fatalities from hunting accidents rose slightly over last year, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission says.

Four hunters have died in accidents so far this year, compared to three fatalities last year.

Hunting-related accidents are down compared to last year, however, with 21 reported accidents during this hunting year compared to 23 accidents at this time a year ago.

Falls from tree stands are again the major contributor to hunting accidents in Arkansas. Last year, there were seven reported tree stand incidents involving hunters. This year that total has increase to eight tree stand accidents.

Thirteen of the 21 reported incidents have included the discharge of a firearm. That number is down from 16 a year ago.

Using a tree stand is a popular way to hunt, but it also presents some special safety issues. Make sure your stand is well constructed and you know how to fasten it securely in place. Use safety belts when in the stand or climbing to and from the stand. Don't climb with your weapon. Raise and lower it, unloaded, with a safety strap or rope.

"Educating hunters is the reason for the low number of accidents," said AGFC hunter education coordinator Joe Huggins. About 14,000 students of all ages successfully completed hunter education courses in Arkansas last year.

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