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Nebraska reports 12 hunting-related incidents as preventable

From the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

-- There were 12 hunting-related incidents reported to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission in 2009.  

In those 12 incidents, six of the shooters were age 10-19, four were age 20-29 and two were age 40-49. In seven incidents, the shooter shot himself/herself, and in five the incidents someone else was shot. In two incidents, a non-hunter was injured or killed, and three of the incidents involved illegal activity. Six incidents involved the discharge of a rifle, three a shotgun and three a handgun.

Three of the incidents involved hunting nongame animals, three involved hunting furbearers, one involved hunting small game, three involved hunting upland birds, and two involved hunting deer.

The two incidents that resulted in a death occurred in Wheeler County in June and Saunders County in December.

Hunting incidents resulting in injury or death are rare in Nebraska. The injury rate per 1,000 hunters commonly is lower than .01 percent. Nebraska has about 170,000 hunters each year, and over the last 10 years there have been about 12 incidents a year in which a hunter was injured or killed.

"All of these incidents were preventable," said Mike Streeter, Nebraska hunter education coordinator.

Streeter said the most common cause of a hunting incident in Nebraska is when shooters swing on flying game birds and fire without knowing what is beyond their target, resulting in hunting companions being struck with shot.

In such an incident, the age of the person firing the firearm is three times as likely to be in the age group 10-19 as any other age group.

"Hunting safety is a concern for everyone and Nebraska hunters do an excellent job of ensuring safety each year," Streeter said. "Safe hunting is no accident. Follow the rules of safe hunting and enjoy the great outdoors in Nebraska."

For a list of available hunter education classes, go to OutdoorNebraska.org, click on Hunting, Hunting Programs then Hunter Education

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