Maine records least safe hunting season in a decade

Least safe hunting season in a decade

GRAY, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The 2017 Maine hunting season (Traditional Firearm Season on Deer) is the most dangerous of the last 10 years, according to statistics kept by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. The season included the state's first fatal in five years.

"We'll have to summarize those incidents to see what the contributing factors are," said Corporal John MacDonald of the Maine Warden Service.

In Maine, an incident occurs when a person is wounded by gunfire. Often this occurs when a duck hunter fires a shotgun into the air. The pellets rain down on an unseen hunter nearby. These sting, but are usually not considered dangerous.

However, the fatal shooting of a woman who was rock hounding on open day, set the sport back.  The season ended when another hunter shot a member of his party through both arms with a high powered weapon.

Black powder hunters and archers can remain in the woods for two more weeks. Hunting for some waterfowl continues as well. 

Maine's deer herd is thought to be in excellent shape. Most area tagging stations report more deer shot this year than last.

Howell Copp of Howell's Indoor Range and Gun Shop tagged more deer this year than last. "What's astonishing to me is the number of bucks and the size of the bucks," he told NEWS CENTER.

His shop tagged a 253-pound buck on opening day. It spoiled the pool the store keeps for a biggest buck club as few other hunters wanted to enter the contest.

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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