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Virginia hunting deaths up in 2008-09

By the Associated Press
January 8, 2009

RICHMOND, Va. - It has been a deadly season for hunters in Virginia.

According to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, the state recorded nine hunting deaths since the start of the fiscal year in 2008. That's the most since the 1994-95 season when 12 hunters were killed. There were two in 2007-08.

The 2008-09 deaths are through Saturday, which marked the close of the general firearms season for deer.

Department spokeswoman Julia Dixon said five of the nine death were self-inflicted. She said a consistent theme in those deaths involved the movement of firearms--through woods, for example. A weapon's safety should be on until a hunter is prepared to shoot.

The hunting toll did not include the drowning of two duck hunters in late December.

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