LIVINGSTON COUNTY – Today, thousands are finally taking their guns afield after months of anticipation and preparation.
Fortunately, hunting accidents are rare. However, it’s worth remembering that last year, three people died in hunting-related accidents in Livingston County.
One hunter fell from a West Sparta tree stand on opening day and another hunter suffered a fatal medical problem in Springwater later in the season. In Caledonia, hunter John Lander accidentally shot his sister in law, Sharon, while carrying a loaded shotgun with the safety off and his finger in the trigger guard, an accident that led to his arrest and guilty plea to felony Criminally Negligent Homicide.
The DEC believes that every hunting-related shooting incident is preventable, and their Commissioner, Basil Seggos, is encouraging hunters to use common sense this season and to remember what they were taught in their DEC Hunters Education Course.
Their basic firearms safety rules are:
1. Point your gun in a safe direction.
2. Treat every gun as if it were loaded.
3. Be sure of your target and beyond.
4. Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
DEC also encourages hunters to wear blaze orange or pink. Wearing orange or pink prevents other hunters from mistaking a person for an animal, or shooting in a hunter’s direction. Hunters who wear hunter orange are seven times less likely to be shot.
When hunting in tree stands, use a safety harness and a climbing belt, as most tree stand accidents occur when hunters are climbing in and out of the stand. Also, hunters should never climb in or out of a tree stand with a loaded rifle and never set a tree stand above 20 feet.
Happy hunting and be safe from the GeneseeSun.com!