Far too often, we only hear the bad things about hunting in the media. There are always reports of shootings caused by carelessness, and not identifying game properly. We hear reports of tree stand accidents, reported as “hunting accident” as well as heart attacks from hunters who are out of shape reported under the same pretense. So, it is refreshing to hear it reported that safety is on the way up. That’s exactly what happened in Kansas this year!
According to an article in the Kansas City InfoZine, there were fewer hunting accidents this year than ever before. This is a credit to the hunter safety courses that are taught in the state. According to the article, there are about 1300 volunteers who provide about 20,000 hours of instruction. That all adds up to only 12 reported accident for the 2009 hunting season. Of those, none were fatal. Kansas has 271,000 hunters, and 3.5 million hunting days among them. Of the 12 accidents, 8 were attributed to the “careless handling of a firearm” and 4 were accidents that occurred while swinging on game. It is actually surprising that there were not more of these types of accidents, considering how much bird hunting takes place in the state.
So, what is my point? We hear all the time how dangerous the sport of hunting is. We hear about how dangerous guns are, and that there is no rational reason for people to have, or use them. These statistics show that hunting is a relatively safe sport. What other sport has 271,000 participants, and has only 12 accidents? There are more serious accidents than that in high school football, and yet no one (in their right mind) is calling for a complete ban of that sport. I realize that there are many other arguments for banning hunting, but this argument falls when the facts are examined.
It is great to hear good news in the hunting world. It is helpful for the hunting community to have good press. While some may try to make any accident fodder for the antis, rational people will see just how these statistics prove the safety of hunting. Maybe next year the number will go up a bit, but that doesn’t change the bottom line. More people are hurt by getting in their cars than by taking up a gun and enjoying the outdoor sport of hunting. I’ll be taking my chances come next fall.