Over the weekend, a group of five hunters went out to a field by a river in upstate New York to deer hunt, reports 13WHAM.
Lt. Joshua Verhague of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation explains the terrain in more detail to the news station:
“The layout of the incident location was a cut soybean field right along the Genesee River. It's pretty open and goes a ways down.”
Here's a picture of the hunting area...
In fact, hunting is “encouraged” in the area. Sadly, it didn't stop tragedy from occurring.
While in a wooded area, one of the hunters shot a fellow hunter in the stomach. She was rushed to the hospital, but pronounced dead upon arrival.
At this point the shooting is believed to have been an accident. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) 2015 report, in the last decade, “the rate of overall unintentional firearms-related fatalities has declined by 33 percent (from 0.3 in 2003 to 0.2* in 2013).”
The NSSF also asserts hunting is “one of the safest activities in America,” citing data that reveals that falls, motor vehicle accidents, drowning, fires, and poisoning all kill more people in the United States each year than unintentional firearm fatalities.
Verhague stresses that safety and awareness is key to hunting responsibly, telling 13WHAM, “Often we see hunters not knowing their target and their target environment and improper handling of firearms. We can't stress it enough.”