February 14, 2006

Texas hunting accident statistics

Another Texas hunter sounds off:

Hunters like me cringe when we're around people like Cheney. He's a rich old coot who's used to having his own way, and won't take direction from his lessers. He hunts maybe a dozen times a year at best. He doesn't practice. So he is a hazard when he's armed. Frankly, someone in his Secret Service detail should have been hounddogging him to prevent exactly such an occurrence.

He's lucky he was hunting birds and not deer.

But as to being drunk - I doubt his doctors let him drink, given his health problems.

As to the hunting stamp issue - I didn't even know there was such a thing as a upland game bird stamp. That's because residents can purchase the super combo license that lets you take all game. Nonresidents can't buy the super combo, but they may not have heard of this stamp. Since Cheney used to live here, he probably didn't realize there was a change in the law.

And here's Doug Pike in the Houston Chronicle with some numbers to back up the iSteve readers' contentions that contemporary hunters don't mess up like this very often at all.

What happened in South Texas over the weekend doesn't happen often. In 2004, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department logged just 29 hunting-accident reports statewide among more than 1 million-plus licensed hunters who spent tens of millions of hours in the field with loaded firearms. (Reporting is required by law from medical personnel who treat gunshot wounds.)

Hunting-accident rates have been reduced since Texas initiated mandatory hunter education in 1988. The 2004 rate of 2.7 accidents per 100,000 licensed hunters is the lowest since state officials started keeping track in 1966, and is a vast improvement over the 12.6 rate that first year.

About two-thirds of hunting accidents occur among dove shooters, and quail hunters run second at barely 20 percent. The most commonly noted hunter error is shooting outside the safe firing zone, which is what happened in Cheney's situation.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

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