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VA: boy recovering from hunting accident

December 31, 2009

La Crosse boy recovering from hunting accident

LA CROSSE — The 12-year-old La Crosse boy that suffered a self-inflicted wound while hunting last Saturday is at home and recovering well, according to family members.

Lieutenant Tony Fisher of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) said Wednesday that the self-inflicted wound suffered by the juvenile was investigated and ruled to be an accident.

Fisher said that VDGIF Investigator Matthew Sandy was called to the scene by the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office around 8:30 a.m. after it was reported that while hunting near Webb Road in La Crosse with his father the child shot himself in the right foot with a .20-gauge shotgun when it accidentally discharged.

The child was taken to Community Memorial Health Center in South Hill. Family members said that the juvenile came home on Tuesday after two surgeries and is doing well.

Hunting safety:

Fisher said that the VDGIF offers hunter safety classes at no charge and the Web site, www.dgif.virginia.gov/hunting/education, provides information on hunter safety.

According to VDGIF, since Hunter Education became mandatory for 12-15 year-old and first-time hunters in 1988, there has been a 25 percent reduction in the rate of hunting-related shooting incidents.

While hunting is safe in comparison to other common sports, each injury can cause extreme physical and emotional pain for the victim, the shooter, and their families. Hunter Education courses are designed to teach hunting safety, principles of conservation, and sportsmanship.

A dedicated cadre of 900 trained volunteer instructors works with 160 Conservation Police Officers to teach 14,000 students each year. The classes are offered in Mecklenburg County by volunteer and Chase City resident Dale Sturdivant.

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