Home > Blog > Hunting Season & Accidents

Hunting Season & Accidents

Posted by:

The hunting season is approaching and it's important that participants take precautions to avoid injury. Hunting accidents, while uncommon, can lead to serious injuries with devastating consequences. The steps you take following any such accident can also determine how you move forward. 

Consider the environment encompassing hunting: camouflaged individuals with tools intended to end life, often from high areas or through mud, wet, or dark landscapes.  Faulty equipment, novice hunters and other factors play into accidents

Careless or reckless behavior is the reason behind many incidents. Believing one cannot or won’t be hurt is a prime example of irresponsible behavior. When engaging in a sport with the potential to cripple or end life, a hunter’s attitude toward safety is of utmost importance. 

Alcohol or drugs may be a factor in the reason behind a hunting accident. Using mind-altering substances while hunting unquestionably falls into the category of negligent behavior. With the recklessness produced by drugs and alcohol, a wrong split-second decision could easily be the future impairment or death of a fellow hunter.

Whether due to just goofing around or being under the influence, the inappropriate handling of hunting equipment is responsible for many accidents. Rushing with a tree stand could cause a hunter to slip or fall. Without being mindful of the safety of a gun, a quick, tragic firing could quickly occur.

In some cases the manufacturers of hunting products, fail to take responsibility for problems on their end. The mentality is if a person is purchasing hunting equipment, they ought to know and absorb the risks with such an investment. If the product is defective, that isn't the hunter's fault

A rifle firing when the trigger is not engaged may be a fatal accident to a nearby hunter. With tree stands, a faulty stand’s welding job or design could result in a 20-foot drop. A harness with weak stitching could be what causes a hunter’s literal downfall.

Nationally, hunting is a growing sport.  This new growth is excellent, but with more novice hunters, the opportunity for injury increases. 

Hunting statistics
  • From 1998 to 2018, unintentional firearm-related fatalities decreased by 47.1%
  • Between 2014-2018, more than $724 million was given to states for hunter education and safety training
  • During the same years, 55,000 hunter education instructors provided safety education for hunters
  • Over 15 million people purchased hunting licenses in 2019
  • Most tree stand accidents involve climbing in and out of stands

Before an accident can take place, ensure you are not the liable party. Follow safety rules, wear protective clothing, and use gear to keep yourself safe. Abide by safety precautions when working with firearms, act responsibly, and never hunt while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including prescription drugs. Obtain permission before hunting on anyone’s private property.

If another hunter injured you, they might try to shift the blame by claiming you caused your own injury or lying about details. If the hunter who hurt you is a friend or a family member, you may find yourself conflicted on the next steps and reluctant to work with a lawyer.

Before placing blame, courts consider if the hunter who caused the injury was under any influence. They look at the experience level and what happened after the injury. They will also examine property owners to judge that they acted within reason while defending their property.  

Perhaps it was not even the hunter’s or property owner’s fault. Maybe the product was defective, and the manufacturers have some liability for the resulting injury. Defective ammunition, ladders, safety harnesses have all been in prior claims. Attorneys with experience handling hunting accident claims will know how to navigate the seller’s denial of responsibility.

As with any accident resulting in significant injuries or property damage, you should speak with an attorney to protect your rights and assist you as needed.   If you or a family member are injured in any accident, call our offices for a free consultation.  We have over 50 years of experience getting the compensation and justice our clients deserve.