WGVA 106.3FM 1240AMMix 98.5101.7 The WallWFLR Finger Lakes Country Classic Hits 99.3The Lake 100.1/104.5 WAUB 96.3FM 1590AM

DEC Releases 2023 Hunting Safety Stats


The stats are in and 2023 has tied for the second-safest hunting season on record.

According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, last year saw 12 hunter-related shooting incidents (HRSIs), tying with 2019 for the second safest year on record.

“Thanks to New York’s Hunter Education Program and hunters following the rules of firearm safety, hunting continues to be a safe activity enjoyed by thousands of New Yorkers and visitors each year,” said Commissioner Seggos. “Following proven hunting safety tips is the best way to keep hunting safe and prevent incidents in future seasons.”

Six of the HRSIs were two-party shootings while the other six were self-inflicted. Two of the shootings were fatal, including one where a hunter hauled a loaded firearm into a tree stand.

The second occurred in Wayne County in November. Brian Bizallion of Wolcott was fatally wounded when his hunting partner’s gun discharged while they were dragging a harvested deer, striking him in the chest.

Two nonfatal incidents occurred in Yates and Steuben Counties last year. In Yates County, the hunter accidentally shot themself in the foot. In Steuben County, the hunter’s shotgun barrel exploded while trying to fire a second shot at a deer. The DEC believes this was likely caused by a barrel obstruction.

The state began record-keeping HRSI data over 70 years ago.

There were also eight elevated hunting incidents (EHIs) involving tree stands. None were fatal. Only one of the hunters involved in an EHI was wearing a harness and connected to the tree.

Get the top stories on your radio 24/7 on Finger Lakes News Radio 96.3 and 1590, WAUB and 106.3 and 1240, WGVA, and on Finger Lakes Country, 96.1/96.9/101.9/1570 WFLR.