Saturday's fatal hunting incident was first in state since 2010 - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Saturday's fatal hunting incident was first in state since 2010

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While a hunting tragedy shook a Tama County community Saturday, the number of gun-related hunting fatalities in the state has decreased dramatically over the years.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says Saturday's fatality in Tama County was the first gun-related hunting fatality since 2010. The DNR has two gun-related hunting fatalities on record for 2010.

During the 2014 year, the Iowa DNR investigated 15 gun-related injures, nine of which the hunter injured him or herself. The department also investigated 14 cases when property was damaged by stray shotgun slugs or bullets. 

In 2013, 11 gun-related injuries were reported, seven of which were self-inflicted. That same year, the DNR investigated six incidents of property damage.

According to Joe Wilkinson with the Iowa DNR, while any hunting death is one too many, these numbers are down from decades ago. For example back in 1965, the DNR has 95 gun-related hunting incidents on record, 20 of which were fatalities.

Wilkinson attributes the drop to changes in hunting policies. In the 1970's, hunting safety courses became mandatory. Hunters are also now required to wear orange.

Wilkinson says the number of hunters in Iowa has also changed. Now Iowa has more deer hunters, but fewer hunters overall.

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