Thanks to Mississippi’s beautiful weather, varied terrain and its wide range of wild game to hunt, the state is something of a hunter’s paradise. While Mississippi has embraced hunting as its favorite recreational sport, it is an unmistakable reality that hunting accidents occur far too often.
According to the latest information from the International Hunter Education Association, the U.S. and Canada suffer from roughly 1,000 hunting accidents each year. Of those 1,000 hunting accidents, nearly 100 of them are fatal.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a Mississippi hunting accident, talk to a Mississippi hunting accident attorney who will provide you with the legal counsel you need. If you were the victim of another hunter’s negligence, a Mississippi hunting accident lawyer may be able to help you receive deserved compensation.
Mississippi Hunting Accidents
According to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, 26 hunting accidents occurred in the state of Mississippi in 2013-2014. In just the first three months of the 2014-2015 hunting season, a dozen hunting accidents occurred. Data indicated that tree stands were the leading cause of hunting accidents in the state of Mississippi, but firearms themselves still contributed to a great deal of the state’s accidents.
Compound these statistics with the fact that Mississippi already has one of the highest gun death rates in the country, and it is clear that Mississippi hunters need to remain safe, vigilant and careful at all times.
Gun safety is a critical component of preventing Mississippi gun deaths writ large, but gun safety is also of the utmost importance for hunting accident prevention as well. While hunters are required to take mandatory hunter safety courses, gun accidents continue to happen each and every year. Accidental firearm discharges and negligent bow and arrow handling are a frequent cause of hunting injuries, and these accidents are easily prevented with proper safety procedures.
Other situations are more complicated, such as this recent story where a hunter was shot by a fellow hunter. The hunter who was shot was not wearing protective orange safety gear, making him needlessly difficult to spot and raising the risk of a shooting accident.
Likely scenarios for hunting accidents include:
- Firing into a wooded area without firing at a clear target
- Shooting near populated areas, roads and/or buildings
- Running or climbing with a loaded firearm
- Carrying a weapon without engaging the safety when firing is not intended
- Defective tree stands or improper use of a tree stand
Hunting Safety Tips
Since tree stands and unsafe firearm habits are the leading causes of hunting accidents, here are a few helpful tips on how to prevent these kinds of accidents. For tree stands, Mississippi hunters reduce their risk of an accident by:
- Only use factory manufactured tree stands on healthy and non-diseased trees
- Do not climb a tree stand in a dead (or dying) tree
- Closely inspect the tree stand, safety harness and fastener before every hunt
- Remove debris near the base of the stand
- Use a haul-line to bring equipment and firearms up to your stand; do not climb with a firearm
- Wear the safety harness in a way that follows proper safety procedures
For gun safety, hunters should take care to follow the so-called “10 Commandments of Firearm Safety“. These guidelines advise hunters to engage in safe firearm handling techniques that reduce the risk of a needless gun accident.
Maggio Thompson, LLP is a hunting accident attorney in Mississippi that provides committed legal representation to victims of a Mississippi hunting accident. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a negligent hunting accident, contact us or call (601) 300-3333 for a legal consultation with a MS hunting accident lawyer who fights for a client’s right to receive deserved compensation.