Wyoming Hunters Have Outstanding Safety Record

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For the second year in a row, Wyoming hunters have recorded an outstanding safety record with only two firearm related hunting accidents reported in 2007.

According to hunter education coordinator Jim Dawson, as with almost all firearm related accidents, both incidents could easily have been prevented by following safe firearm handling practices.

In Laramie County, two young men were riding down a county road on a coyote hunting trip. The truck hit a bump in the road and the passenger's rifle discharged, hitting the driver in the left arm taking out the tricep. Dawson said this accident could easily have been prevented by not having a loaded gun in a vehicle.

The other accident occurred in Fremont County when a 13-year old boy was shot in the lower left leg by his 14 year old brother. The two were hunting deer and after shooting at a deer, the two went to recover the game. The older brother tripped on a rock, fell, and the rifle went off. According to the ambulance crew, the boy's life was saved due to emergency first aid rendered by the supervising adult on the hunting trip.

Dawson said that while every incident is tragic, considering the tens of thousands of hunters that take to the Wyoming outdoors every year, the few accidents confirm that hunting is a very safe activity.

"The goals of the Hunter Education Program are to reduce hunting related accidents and violations, promote safe, responsible and knowledgeable hunting, and enhance hunting traditions and values," Dawson said.

"We now have more than 400 instructors, who include game wardens, volunteers and professional educators. These volunteer instructors certify an average of 3,500 students each year."