November 07, 2006
By Jim Low
The Missouri Department of Conservation recorded 10
firearms-related deer-hunting accidents last year. One was fatal.
One of the most striking lessons to be learned from 2005 deer
hunting accident reports is that hunters most often are injured by
the person with whom they spend the most time hunting - themselves.
Half of last year's firearms-related deer hunting accidents
involved self-inflicted gunshots. The percentage varies from year to
year, but self-inflicted injuries consistently account for
approximately half of Missouri deer-hunting accidents.
Two hunters suffered self-inflicted injuries last year because
they violated one of the most commonsense rules firearms safety -
don't put your hand over the muzzle of a gun. In one case, a
13-year-old hunter participating in the youth hunting season had
leaned his rifle against a tree. When he picked it up, he put his
hand over the muzzle while trying to secure the safety. His accident
ended a perfect safety record for the youth hunt, which had never
been marred by a shooting mishap since its inception four years
The other hand-on-muzzle incident involved a hunter who was so
excited by the appearance of an 11-point buck that he grasped his
pistol by the barrel with his left hand.
All five deer-hunting accident victims who did not shoot
themselves knew the people who shot them. Three were described as
"friends." One involved brothers. In the remaining case - last
year's only deer-hunting fatality - a nephew shot his uncle.
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