For the second consecutive year, Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources is reporting there were no fatalities this hunting season, in large part due to hunter safety programs.
During the 2015-16 combined hunting seasons, DNR sold 651,588 base licenses and recorded 13 non-fatal incidents with none resulting in fatalities. Officials note that ever since introducing hunter education in 1946 on a voluntary basis, and in 1970 on a mandatory one, the number of deaths in the woods have plummeted.
In 1970 there were 18 hunting fatalities in over 200 incidents.
“Our excellent hunter education program saves lives,” said Sgt. Steve Orange, supervisor of the DNR’s Recreational Safety, Education and Enforcement Section in a statement emailed to Guns.com. “When looking at the downward trend over the last five decades, it becomes very clear that our hunter education program is one of the major factors attributed to preventing fatalities and injuries.”
The credit for the training goes to more than 3,400 volunteer instructors while materials are funded in large part by Pittman-Robertson funds paid for off firearm and ammo sales.
“Our many hunter education volunteers – who cumulatively donate over 35,000 hours every year – are dedicated to providing new hunters with the skills needed to handle and operate their firearms or archery equipment safely, which results in enjoyable experiences for them and others in Michigan’s out of doors,” said Orange.
Seems like real “common-sense gun safety” at work.
The full report on the 13 injuries recorded, 60 percent of which were firearm related, is accessible here.