hunting incidents report - 2013 season

Hunting Incidents, Yearly Comparison

Hunting Incident Report in .pdf format

In 2013, 22 hunting and shooting sports related incidents were reported in South Dakota to the HuntSAFE Office. Two hunting incidents resulted in fatalities from medically related causes. The total number of hunting and shooting sports related incidents slightly increased from the previous year (21) however overall numbers of incidents were lower than the 10 year average. Overall, 2013 had the third lowest number of hunting and shooting sports related incidents that were reported since 1997 when incident numbers were at 18.

The South Dakota Department of Game, Fish & Parks compiles hunter safety statistics each year using the definitions outlined by the International Hunter Education Association (IHEA). The IHEA determines the criteria of how incidents are reported. These criteria are:

  • Type A. Injury or death of a person resulting from the discharge of a firearm or bow during hunting.
  • Type B. Injury or death of any person while hunting, which did not involve the discharge of a firearm or bow.
  • Type C. Injury or death of any person, other than while hunting, resulting from the discharge of a firearm or bow.

This report includes incidents reported within all three of the above criteria. Other incidents may have occurred but were not reported to the Department.

Below is an overview of the reported incidents. After this overview, each incident is described on a case-by-case basis.

  • 16 incidents were related to pheasant hunting
  • 3 incidents were related to Big Game (deer) hunting
  • 2 incidents were related to Waterfowl hunting
  • 1 incident was related to hunting racoons
  • 2 fatalities - (both Type B)


Hunting Incidents Summary Table

SOUTH DAKOTA HUNTING INCIDENT DATA
YEAR
TOTAL
BIG GAME
UPLAND GAME
WATERFOWL
*OTHER
FATAL
2013
22
3
16
2
1
2
2013
21
3
18
0
0
3
2011
55
3
38
2
12
1
2010
35
0
26
2
7
1
2009
39
0
30
0
9
1

In cases where a shooter could be determined, 9 were non-residents, 4 were residents and in the remaining cases a shooter was not identified or the incident was self-inflicted.

Where hunter education completion could be determined, the data indicated 10 people involved as shooters had received hunter education while 4 had not.

Each individual hunter shoulders the responsibility for their own safety and the safety of those around them. The four basic rules of firearm safety are:

  • Keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction
  • Keep the action unloaded and open if not actively hunting
  • Be sure of your target and what is beyond your target
  • Keep your finger outside and alongside the trigger guard until ready to shoot

Case-by-Case Summary of Hunting Incidents

Pheasant Hunting Incidents

  • Type: A
    County: McPherson
    Date of Incident: 01/5/2013
    Reason: Victim out of sight of shooter
    Age of shooter: 47
    Hunter Ed. cert: Yes
    Brief Description: Shooter and victim were approximately 60-65 yards apart. Shooter and victim were hunting an old building site with tall weeds. Shooter fired downward at a coyote. BB's ricochet and hit victim in face and hand. Shooter and victim were hunting for pheasants.

  • Type: A
    County: Brule
    Date of Incident: 09/20/2013
    Reason: Victim covered by shooter who was swinging on game; victim out of sight of shooter
    Age of shooter: Unknown shooter
    Hunter Ed. cert: Unknown
    Brief Description: Individuals were hunting pheasants on a shooting preserve in Brule County. Hunters were walking a strip of corn which ranged from 7-9ft. tall. The victim was walking on the outside of the corn and likely the shooter was firing within the corn strip. The shooter is unknown and due to the height of the corn the victim was out of sight of the shooter

  • Type: B
    County: Buffalo
    Date of Incident: 09/26/2013
    Reason: medical health issue
    Age of shooter: no shooter involved
    Hunter Ed. cert: unknown
    Brief Description: Victim was hunting pheasants when he hit a bird and walked to place it was laying. The victim suffered a heart attack at that time. Blood toxicology report revealed the blood contained 27ng/ml of Methamphetamine.

  • Type: A
    County: Potter
    Date of Incident: 10/19/2013
    Reason: Victim covered by shooter who was swinging on game
    Age of shooter: 78
    Hunter Ed. cert: No
    Brief Description: Shooter swung on bird and fired striking victim in the background with pellets in chest, arm and face, hands and leg

  • Type: A
    County: Hand
    Date of Incident: 10/20/2013
    Reason: Victim out of sight of shooter
    Age of shooter: 68
    Hunter Ed. cert: No
    Brief Description: A bird flushed and flew low to the ground and several shots were fired striking the victim. The victim was wearing a blaze cap and vest.

  • Type: A
    County: Walworth
    Date of Incident: 10/20/2013
    Reason: Careless handling of firearm; Victim covered by shooter who was swinging on game
    Age of shooter: unknown shooter
    Hunter Ed. cert: unknown shooter
    Brief Description: Victim was blocking. Unknown shooter was walking toward victim and shot at a bird flying low striking victim below the eye, in the hand and in the leg.

  • Type: A
    County: Sanborn
    Date of Incident: 10/21/2013
    Reason: Victim covered by shooter who was swinging on game
    Age of shooter: 21
    Hunter Ed. cert: unknown
    Brief Description: Victim was blocking and shooter was walking towards victim when pheasant flushed. The shooter fired at the bird and missed and struck the victim in the background in the face with shot.

  • Type: A
    County: Tripp
    Date of Incident: 10/22/2013
    Reason: Victim covered by shooter who was swinging on game
    Age of shooter: 15
    Hunter Ed. cert: Yes
    Brief Description: Victim was blocking and shooter was walking towards victim when pheasant flushed. The shooter fired at the bird and missed and struck the victim causing several wounds to the upper body.

  • Type: A
    County: Hand
    Date of Incident: 10/23/2013
    Reason: Victim covered by shooter who was swinging on game
    Age of shooter: 76
    Hunter Ed. cert: No
    Brief Description: Shooter and victim were blockers at the end of a corn field. A pheasant flushed between the blockers and both hunters started to swing on the bird. The victim said he saw the shooter was going to shoot and went to cover his face. However, the victim sustained multiple pellets in face, eye and arms.

  • Type: B
    County: Hughes
    Date of Incident: 10/23/2013
    Reason: medical health issue
    Age of shooter: no shooter involved
    Hunter Ed. cert: unknown
    Brief Description: Victim was hunting pheasants when he collapsed in the field. The other hunters in the party did not notice victim was missing for about 45 minutes and found him unresponsive. It is believed the victim had medical issues resulting in death.

  • Type: A
    County: Edmunds
    Date of Incident: 10/25/2013
    Reason: Victim covered by shooter who was swinging on game
    Age of shooter: 52
    Hunter Ed. cert: Unknown
    Brief Description: Shooter was blocking for a group of hunters when a group of pheasants flushed. Shooter believed the birds to be high enough to shoot at, but shot from the shot string stuck victim in the face.

  • Type: A
    County: Hand
    Date of Incident: 10/30/2013
    Reason: Victim covered by shooter who was swinging on game
    Age of shooter: 51
    Hunter Ed. cert: Yes
    Brief Description: Victim was hunting with 9 other hunters and a pheasant flushed in front of the group. The group that was blocking shot at the pheasant and the victim who was walking had pellets strike him in the hand, finger and face.

  • Type: A
    County: Brown
    Date of Incident: 11/01/2013
    Reason: Victim out of sight of shooter
    Age of shooter: Unknown shooter
    Hunter Ed. cert: unknown
    Brief Description: Victim was blocking at the end of standing corn field when struck in the face by an unknown shooter who was walking in the corn fired on bird.

  • Type: A
    County: Tripp
    Date of Incident: 11/03/2013
    Reason: Victim out of sight of shooter
    Age of shooter: 47
    Hunter Ed. cert: Yes
    Brief Description: Victim and shooter were walking a food plot of cane. The victim was walking in the tall cane and shooter was flanking ahead of them to the left. A pheasant flushed out of the cane and the shooter believed the pushers were already ahead of the pheasant's location and fired a shot. The victim was struck in the face, head and arm with pellets from the shooters shot string.

  • Type: A
    County: Faulk
    Date of Incident: 11/04/2013
    Reason: Victim covered by shooter who was swinging on game; Victim out of sight of shooter
    Age of shooter: unknown shooter
    Hunter Ed. cert: unknown
    Brief Description: Victim was blocker at the end of the field with two other individuals. The other six members in the party were pushing a field towards the blockers when a pheasant got up between the hunters pushing the field and the blockers. The shooter fired on the bird and struck the victim in the background with shot from the shot string in the arm.

  • Type: A
    County: Day
    Date of Incident: 11/16/2013
    Reason: Removing/placing a firearm in vehicle; careless handling of firearm
    Age of shooter: 12
    Hunter Ed. cert: Yes
    Brief Description: Shooter/victim was going hunting with grandpa for pheasants. When the hunters arrived at their hunting location, the shooter/victim was removing his loaded shotgun from the vehicle when it went off striking himself in the foot.

    Big Game (deer)

  • Type: B
    County: Lyman
    Date of Incident: 11/17/2013
    Reason: treestand fall while exiting the stand
    Age of shooter: no shooter involved (victim was 59)
    Hunter Ed. cert: Yes
    Brief Description: Victim was preparing to leave treestand when he slipped and fell to the ground resulting in three broken ribs.

  • Type: B
    County: Clark
    Date of Incident: 11/24/2013
    Reason: treestand fall while climbing into our out of position; failure to use haul line
    Age of shooter: no shooter involved (victim 59)
    Hunter Ed. cert: Yes
    Brief Description: Victim was hunting out of a tripod stand. When attempting to exit stand, the victim lost grip and fell to the ground. The firearm he was using held onto his right hand as he fell to the ground. Victim crawled a quarter mile to an ATV and drove back to his house to notify 911.

  • Type: A
    County: Day
    Date of Incident: 11/30/2013
    Reason: Careless handling of firearm
    Age of shooter: 14 (self-inflicted)
    Hunter Ed. cert: Yes
    Brief Description: Victim/shooter was resting taking a break from hunting and placed his hand over the muzzle of his muzzleloader. The firearm went off striking the victim in the webbing of his right hand between his thumb and index finger. Victim stated the firearm had been on half cock and was unsure if it got bumped to full cock or fired from half cock.

     Waterfowl

  • Type: A
    County: Hamlin
    Date of Incident: 10/12/2013
    Reason: Victim out of sight of shooter; ricochet
    Age of shooter: 27
    Hunter Ed. cert: Yes
    Brief Description: Victim was on his way back from retrieving a duck and approximately 25 yards to the right of the shooter and 75-80 yards away from the line of fire of the shooter. Shooter had a drake enter the decoys and victim hunched down and turned his head to see if the shooter was going to get the duck. Shooter fired at the duck and victim felt something strike him in the eye.

  • Type: A
    County: Brown
    Date of Incident: 10/26/2013
    Reason: victim covered by shooter who was swinging on game
    Age of shooter: 18
    Hunter Ed. cert: No
    Brief Description: Victim and shooter were sitting directly across from each other hunting ducks. One duck flew in between them and shooter fired at it and struck the victim with multiple pellets from the shot string.

    Raccoons

  • Type: A
    County: Grant
    Date of Incident: 11/16/2013
    Reason: Careless handling of firearm; other: discharge firearm in a building
    Age of shooter: 40 (self-inflicted)
    Hunter Ed. cert: Yes
    Brief Description: Victim/shooter was hunting raccoons in the attic of an abandoned farm house. Victim saw two raccoons and killed one immediately. The second was in a corner and obstructed behind a support beam. The victim grabbed the raccoon by the tail to get it out of the rafter. The raccoon struggled with the victim and came at him. The victim shot four times at the raccoon and the raccoon ran across the victim's leg. As the raccoon ran across the victim's leg he was shooting and one of the rounds ended up in the victim's foot.