Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Hunter Safety Statistics

Since DEC's Hunter Education Program was first introduced in New York State in 1949, the number of hunting-related accidents have declined significantly. Nineteen hunting-related shooting incidents (HRSI) were reported in New York in 2017. In 11 of the 19 incidents (58%), a violation of hunting laws or regulations occurred. Unfortunately, one of these incidents was a fatality that could have been prevented if the shooter had been following hunting laws and regulations.

Tree stand accidents are becoming a major cause of hunting-related injuries and death, so the DEC began investigating hunting-related tree stand incidents (TSRI) in 2017. Twelve tree stand accidents were investigated in 2017. However, since hunters are not required to report tree stand accidents, it is likely that our report does not capture all tree stand incidents that occurred statewide in New York. Of the 12 incidents investigated, 50% were fatal. Investigations revealed that in 75% of the incidents hunters were not wearing any kind of full-body harness to secure them in their stand or on the climb up and down.

Appreciation goes out to the DEC Environmental Conservation Officers who conduct professional investigations of each hunting-related shooting incident and hunting-related tree stand incident.

In these reports, a Hunting Related Shooting Incident (HRSI) is defined as follows: an incident in which any person who, while engaged in hunting or trapping, causes death or injury to any person, or themselves, by discharging a firearm, longbow or crossbow, or so negligently discharges a firearm, longbow or crossbow as to endanger the life or safety of another, or so negligently and wantonly discharges a firearm, longbow or crossbow as to destroy or damage public or private property.

You can view and print the 2017 reports by clicking the links below.

2017 Hunting-Related Shooting Incidents (PDF, 49 KB)

2017 Tree Stand-Related Incidents (PDF, 31 KB)