State Records Year's First Hunting Fatality

November 23, 2007

(AP) Virginia already has recorded its first hunting death of the season and if history is any indication it most likely won't be the last.

Five hunters were accidentally killed last year. Four were shot, and one died in a tree stand accident. Since the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries began keeping track in 1993, the state has had only one year without a hunting fatality. Virginia has had eight hunting fatalities three separate years.

This year's first hunting fatality occurred on November 10th, when Radcliffe Vernon of Hot Springs was accidentally shot by another hunter on the first day of muzzle loader season for deer west of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Captain Bobby Mawyer is the game department's program manager for hunter education. He says that while every hunting death is heartbreaking, the overall safety record of the sport is not bad. He says you're more likely to get hurt playing football or soccer.

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