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Idaho Fish and Game

Average Year for Firearms Incidents

Firearms incidents associated with hunting showed about the same pattern in 2001 as in recent years. In Idaho last year, 13 firearms incidents involving hunting were reported; one was fatal. Statistics have varied only slightly over recent years and continue to indicate a great improvement in safety over hunting seasons before 1980. Even though the number of hunters and general population in Idaho is much higher than in the 1950s when statistics first were kept, the number of incidents has dropped dramatically since then. The decline has been especially steep since hunter education was established. The 2001 reports indicate that no particular type of hunting produced more injury than another. Two incidents happened in quail hunts, two in duck hunts, two in pheasant hunts, two in deer hunts, two in squirrel hunts and one each in elk, turkey and forest grouse hunts. Two incidents involved nonresidents, the rest involved Idahoans. Counties that submitted reports included Boise (1), Caribou (2), Canyon (1), Gooding (2), Lincoln (1), Kootenai (2), Nez Perce (1), Custer (1), and Idaho (2). The fatality occurred during a duck hunt when the shooter swung on his partner at close range. Other causes listed included two other cases of careless swinging of a gun by shooter, unloading a gun carelessly, a ricochet, two cases of a victim out of sight, two cases of a victim in the line of fire, an insecure rest, one victim mistaken for game, and an accidental discharge with the victim in the line of fire. One victim, in the case of the ricochet, was wearing a red hat. In other cases where note was made of the victims' clothing, camouflage was a popular pattern involved in three of the cases. Blue and green garments figured in the other cases.