New record for N.Y. hunting safety set in 2012 - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

New record for N.Y. hunting safety set in 2012

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ALBANY, N.Y. -- The 2012 New York hunting season had the lowest number of hunting-related shooting incidents on record, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens announced Monday.

"Governor Cuomo recognizes all the benefits the sporting community brings to New York's economy and commends sportsmen and women for setting a record in hunting safety," said Commissioner Martens. "The Governor and DEC are working to expand hunting opportunities in New York State and hunter safety is part and parcel to these efforts. These declining statistics prove that New York does have a safety-conscious generation of hunters, in great thanks to the committed efforts of more than 2,500 volunteer Sportsman Education Instructors."

DEC Environmental Conservation Officers conduct professional investigations of each hunting-related shooting incident. The 2012 season included 24 personal incidents with just over half being self-inflicted. Only two fatalities that occurred during the deer season occurred when the individuals were shot by members of their own hunting group.

Though the number of hunters is declining in the state, the hunting incident rate (incidents per 100,000 hunters) is falling much faster. Since the 1960s, the number of hunters has declined about 20 percent, while the incident rate has plunged more than 70 percent. The past five-year average is 5.3 incidents per 100,000 hunters, compared to 19 per 100,000 in the 1960s.

For more information, including the 2012 Hunting Safety Statistics, visit the Sportsman Education Program section on the DEC website www.dec.ny.gov.

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