Fish & Game
Hunting Accidents Hit All-Time Low in Texas
Here’s one trend that’s heading in the right direction as fall hunting season approaches: Hunting-related accidents in Texas are at an all-time low since Hunter Education became mandatory in 1988, according to the 2021 Texas Hunting Accident Report released by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Texas experienced only one fatality and 11 accidents statewide in 2021, according to the report, and recorded 49,000 Hunter Education certifications.
“In 2021, three-quarters of the incidents were what we call ‘swinging on game outside of a safe zone of fire,’” says Steve Hall, Hunter Education coordinator for TPWD. “This is the most common mishap in Texas, besides careless [firearm] handling in and around vehicles. The cardinal rule of hunting and shooting safety is keeping the muzzle of a firearm always pointed in a safe direction.”
The latest accident total marks a significant decrease since 1988, when Texas reported 12 fatalities and 70 accidents throughout the state. More than 18,000 Texans received their Hunter Education certification that year.
In Texas, Hunter Education became mandatory in 1988, and is required for every hunter born on or after Sept. 2, 1971. TPWD has offered courses since 1972, certifying nearly 1.5 million students.
Hall says these three tips help ensure a safe experience for hunters whether they’re at home, in transit to their hunting spot or spending time in the field.
• Unload all firearms when not in use; don’t reload them until you’re ready to shoot.
• Be sure of your target and what’s in front of or behind it.
• Wear blaze orange to be seen by other hunters.
TPWD Staff Chase Fountain | TPWD
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