Hunting accidents drop
During Pennsylvania’s 2015 hunting season, there were 23 hunting-related shooting incidents statewide, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC). Remarkably, that was the lowest number on record says the PGC.
Despite this, PGC Executive Director Matthew Hough, said there is still work to do to improve it. “If you look back at the hundreds of incidents that occurred year after year in Pennsylvania decades ago, it really was amazing how far hunter safety has come. And it has been accomplished largely through a team of hardworking volunteers dedicated to making hunting continually safer.”
According to the PGC, two of the 23 incidents reported in 2015 resulted in fatalities. One was self-inflicted, and one resulted from a shot where the victim was in the line of fire. Except for 2012 — the first year without a single reported fatality related to gun handling in hunting and trapping in Pennsylvania — at least one fatality has been reported each year. There was one fatal incident in 2014, but as a whole, the number of fatal incidents has declined sharply over the years.
The PGC has compiled data on hunting related shooting incidents since 1915. And since then, incidents have declined nearly 80-percent and since hunter-education training began in 1959. This is the fact Hough pointed out in that its volunteers who teach the classes have helped the cause. In 2015 alone, 2,326 volunteers taught 38,671 students.
The previous record-low was 27 incidents in 2013. Before 2013, the PGC indicates that there has never been fewer than 33 incidents reported in a year. And 2015 marks the third straight year in which fewer than 30 incidents were reported.
Interestingly, and in 2015, five of the 23 incidents with an identified offender resulted from individuals with 10 or fewer years of hunting experience. And in 2015, no incidents involved a youth participating in the Mentored Youth Hunting Program, in which about 32,680 permits were issued during this time frame.
Looking at the records, the PGC points out that the leading cause of hunting-related shooting incidents in 2015 was where a victim was in the line of fire or an unintentional discharge, each of which accounted for 35 percent of the total.
STEELSTACKS HOSTING ‘TASTE OF THE WILD’
The Lehigh Valley Zoo in cooperation with ArtsQuest is hosting a wildlife tasting culinary event June 3, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The Taste of the Wild will feature such delectables as Wild Salmon with Dill Cream on a Naan Crostini; Venison Skewers; Pheasant and Waffles with a Pan Gravy Crema; Rabbit Sausage Sliders; Elk Wellington with Wild Mushroom Duxelles and Demi Puff Pastry Cup; Spanakopita; Wild Mushrooms Stuffed with a Caribbean Quinoa; Mini Cheese Cakes; Assorted Petit Fours; and Assorted Mini Cannolis, éclairs and Puff Pastries.
All mouthwatering delights especially if you’ve never tasted wild game.
Proceeds from the event will go to support Step Outdoors Lehigh Valley presented by Lehigh Valley Zoo. The event was designed to encourage children and families to get outdoors as well as to learn about wildlife, conservation and the great outdoors.
There will also be hands-on activities related to archery, urban birding, cycling/biking, gardening, geocaching, hiking, nature photography, bird box building and more. For more information and tickets check www.steelstacks.org.
On June 4, Cabela’s Hamburg is hosting a cooking event that showcases and demonstrates outdoor cooking equipment, techniques, recipes, seasonings, accessories and samplings of Cabela’s food, nuts, fudge and packaged food they sell in the store. Outfitters will be on hand to demonstrate their products and will show how to enhance your outdoor grilling.
Dale Showmaker of Masterbuilt, will be on hand to demonstrate their latest product line with other demos of coolers, ice makers, vacuum sealing/preservation, cooking accessories, pellet grills, smokers, fryers and more. For further information on the courses hosted by Cabela’s, check www.cabelas.com/Hamburg.