ALBANY — The 2019 hunting seasons were the safest on record in New York, with 12 shooting injuries and one death, the Department of Environmental Conservation reported Tuesday.
There were also seven tree stand injuries, all involving hunters who weren’t wearing safety harnesses secured to trees. None of those were fatal.
New York has tracked hunting-related shooting incidents since the 1960s. In 1966, there were 166 incidents, 13 of them fatal. The number of hunters has declined 20% since the 1960s, but the incident rate has declined almost 80%, according to the DEC. The average number of shooting accidents was 66 in the 1990s and 21 in the 2010s.
Of the 12 hunting-related shooting incidents last year, five were self-inflicted and seven involved two parties. Seven occurred during deer season and the others happened in small game, waterfowl or turkey hunting seasons.
The fatal accident happened Nov. 17 in Herkimer, when a 55-year-old hunter was shot at close range by a fellow hunter while they were participating in a deer drive.