VA: Deadly Year for Hunters
February 01, 2009 - Lynchburg, VA
This has already been the deadliest year for Virginia hunters in more
than a decade. Now, the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries is stepping
up efforts to educate hunters before the next big season starts. They
believe most hunters already know the basics, they just need to put them to
SGT Chris Thomas, Department of Game and Inland Fisheries - "It's just
the enjoyment of being out there, especially at daylight, seeing the sun
come up, the animals waking up, moving around. It's just an enjoyable
There are a few simple truths every hunter learns his first time out. The
first, and arguably most important, is patience.
SGT Thomas - "Once you've pulled trigger, you can't pull that bullet
It's a message the Virginia Deparment of Game and Inland Fisheries says
saves lives. A message they're hoping to spread over the next two months.
Virginia has already had 9 hunting deaths in the 2009 fiscal year. The next
big season starts in April. DGIF is hoping hunters get back to basics - now
- with practice during small game season.
SGT Thomas - "A lot of rabbit hunting is done in areas like this: thick,
dense briar thickets and all. They get focused on what they're doing, and
kind of forget that they're with a group of people, and, it's easy for the
muzzle to be turned in a direction it shouldn't be turned."
To them, back to basics means identifying your target, and everything
beyond it, remembering to wear your blaze orange, and practicing good
communication. But it goes beyond your relationship with other hunters.
Capt. Henry, Department of Game and Inland Fisheries - "Several of the
accidents ended up being self-inflicted, which goes just back to careless
SGT Thomas - "One step at a time."
Five of nine deaths this year were self-inflicted - the kind that happen
when you rush things - also the kind these guys say are most preventable.
SGT Thomas - "Any hunting incident that we have is too many."
If you're interested in getting out there to practice your skills with
small game, this year's rabbit season runs through the end of February. The
Spring gobbler season picks up April 11th.
Return to Hunting Accident Index
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