(Jefferson City, MO) Missouri is off to a somber start in terms of hunting incidents, and hunter-education officials are urgently requesting that hunters make safety their first and most important concern.
The Missouri Department of Conservation recorded six firearms-related hunting incidents in January. Two of the victims died. Investigations of some of the incidents are still underway, and details are incomplete. Enough is known, however, to underline the need for greater caution among hunters.
The first fatality occurred on Jan. 23 and resulted from horseplay between two cousins, age 13 and 17, who were hunting squirrels.
The two had been pointing their firearms at each other's feet, pretending to shoot. When the younger hunter raised his rifle and tried to re-engage the safety of his .22 cal. rifle. The rifle discharged, striking the victim in the neck.
The second fatality occurred Jan. 25. The 37-year-old victim was crossing a fence when he lost control of his .22 magnum rifle and it discharged, striking him in the chest.
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