DNR Reports Safety Programs Making Difference
With hunting season upon us, some encouraging hunter safety numbers are out. Officials are saying that the number of hunting fatalities in Minnesota has dropped substantially in the past few decades due to effective firearm-safety programs.
A Bemidji Pioneer report says 30 years ago there were averages of 55 shooting incidents including eight fatalities per year. Now there are half as many shootings, with an average of two to three deaths.
In an Associated Press report, a DNR representative said the biggest reason for the drop is that most hunters today have taken courses on firearms safety and hunter education. The DNR also points out that the number of shootings is down, even though the number of hunting licenses has nearly tripled since 1968.
Just as a reminder of the dangers of a loaded firearm, the DNR did report five cases in the past five years in which dogs have caused accidental firearm discharges.