Archived Outdoors

N.C. sees uptick in hunting accidents

N.C. sees uptick in hunting accidents

Across the state, there has been an increase in firearm-related hunting incidents involving serious injury and fatalities. 

So far in 2023, 14 hunting-related incidents have occurred, of which 11 involved a firearm and five were fatal — more than the past three seasons combined. There was only one fatal hunting accident between 2020 and 2022. From 2013 to 2022, 114 total firearm-related hunting incidents occurred in North Carolina, of which only seven were fatal.

Many firearm injuries occur when hunters fail to properly identify their target and mistake another hunter for game, or carelessly handle a firearm resulting in self-inflicted injuries.

To decrease the risk of a hunting incident, practice firearm safety. Always point guns in a safe direction, treat every firearm as if it’s loaded, use binoculars rather than a rifle scope to identify the target, keep fingers away from the trigger guard until ready to shoot, positively identify the target before pulling the trigger, ensure there are no houses, vehicles, powerlines, livestock or people in front of or behind the target, don’t use alcohol or drugs that may affect judgement while hunting and comply with blaze orange laws. When going hunting, always let someone know your intended destination and return time.

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