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SC: Deer Hunting Season off to a Dangerous Start

Deer Hunting Season off to a Dangerous Start Sunday August 16, 2009 - Moncks Corner, SC

Two days into deer hunting season and officials are already investigating an accident.

Saturday in Berkeley County, authorities say a man was shot in the hand by buckshot. That victim was not seriously injured.

Hunting is a favorite pastime that could easily turn dangerous.

"A rifle bullet can go over a mile and still somebody," Corporal Russ Monnett with the Department of Natural Resources says. "A shotgun pellet with buckshot can lethally kill somebody in thousand meters."

Deer hunting season in South Carolina started Saturday and DNR is already working their first incident.

"It was a superficial type of injury but I'm sure it hurt," Monnett described the victim's wounds. "A pellet lodged in his hand. He had to be taken to Trident Hospital."

Cases like that one are not uncommon. Since 2005 there have been 63 hunting incidents in the state; eight of those were fatalities.

The forest is so thick, other hunters and folks on the trail could be anywhere and that is why officials say you should always identify your shot before you fire.

"A lot of people see the bushes move, they'll see the deer cross the road and they'll shoot. It could be someone walking up from another direction that didn't even know the hunter was there," Monnett added.

To stay safe, officials say wear an international orange vest, use a restraint harness in deer stands and closely supervise all children. Also, realize you're not alone in the wilderness.

"People hike, bike and bird watch and most of those people don't realize there is someone out there hunting," said Monnett.

The Department of Natural Resources offers free hunting safety courses. For more information, log onto www.dnr.sc.gov.

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