Iowa sees record safe hunting season

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Hunters in Iowa matched a record in 2013 for one of the safest hunting seasons.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources said in 2013 there were no deaths, 11 injuries, and six cases of property damage during the hunting season. With a total of 17 incidents, it matches 2008, although there was one gun-related death that year.

Megan Wisecup, the DNR’s safety education programs coordinator said before hunter education became mandatory in 1983, they were seeing more than 100 incidents per year, and dozens of fatalities. She attributed the scale back in injuries to mandatory hunter education classes.

“We continue seeing a trend of self-inflicted incidents. There were seven this year. That has stayed pretty steady over the last four, five years,” said Wisecup. “It gets back to basic firearm handling. Point the muzzle in a safe direction. Keep your finger off the trigger, until ready to shoot. And take an extra minute when crossing obstacles to unload.”

In 2013 more than 11,500 Iowa students were certified in 368 classes. There were nearly 1,300 volunteer instructors.