ALBANY – Hunting-related accidents remained relatively low across New York State last year.
According to the State Department of Environmental Conservation, 22 hunting-related incidents occurred in 2020, slightly up from the record-low 12 incidents in 2019.
The DEC says the number of hunting season accidents continues to trend downward when compared to data from over the past 20 years. Nine of the 22 accident that occurred last year were two-party firearm incidents, and 13 were self-inflicted.
The agency says all of these incidents could have been prevented if hunting safety rules had been followed. Last year, the DEC offered a completely online hunter safety course when in-person classes were cancelled just prior to the spring hunting season.
They say the number of participants demonstrated huge success for the online platform in terms of certifying safe hunters. Nearly 67,000 new hunters were certified last year, compared to an average of about 24,000 in previous years.
None of the 22 hunting-related incidents last year involved a hunter who took the hunter safety course online.