Hunting is a tradition for many New Yorkers, passed down from generation to generation. Gun-safety, rules, common sense and more are taught to the next generation as they enter the woods or fields throughout the state. While each year, hunter safety education programs are offered, thanks to over 3,000 volunteer sportsman education instructors, hunting season still poses some risk.

In 2016, unfortunately, there were 13 reports of injuries, 4 of which were fatal ( 2 involved two people while 2 were self-inflicted), but with the lowest numbers of incidents every seen, the 2016 season was the safest hunting season on record.

According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, in comparison, 2015 was the third safest season on record with only 23 hunting incidents, while one of the worst years was in 1966 with 166 incidents, 13 of which were fatal.

While the numbers are showing that hunting is safer than ever, accidents can still happen.

The Department of Environmental Conservation reminds everyone hunting-related shooting incidents can be prevented. Wearing hunter orange is a simple, yet effective safety measure. In fact, this year 8 of the hunting accidents involved hunters who were not wearing hunter orange.

Accidents can be prevented if hunters follow the primary rules of hunter safety and the DEC Sportsman Hunter Education program,mandatory for all hunters, is doing their best to keep every hunter safe.