It was a safe year for Pennsylvania hunters.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission says no one was killed in 2016 while hunting or trapping in the state. That has only happened once before (in 2012).
There were 25 hunting-related shooting incidents statewide last year, which is the second-lowest on record. In 2015, there were 23 incidents. The PGC says of those 25 incidents last year, nine of them involved an individual who had less than 10 years of hunting experience.
Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans says this trend of increasingly safer hunting is something of which Pennsylvania hunters can be proud of. Decades ago, hundreds of incidents occurred annually in Pennsylvania.
“There’s always work to do when it comes to improving hunter safety, because even one incident is too many,” Burhans said in a statement. “But the fact remains that hunting is safer than it’s ever been, and in Pennsylvania, the credit for that can be shared by the legions of hunters who make a habit out of making good decisions and the dedicated instructors who have trained them so well.”
Officials say the use of fluorescent orange in many seasons and ongoing hunter-education efforts are essential to the upward trend in hunter safety. Last year, over 35,000 students received their Basic Hunter-Trapper Education certification in Pennsylvania.