Hunters reminded of basic safety concepts
Posted December 26, 2011
Updated December 27, 2011
Hollister, N.C. — As deer season in North Carolina comes to a close, Dustin Etheridge, wildlife officer with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, used the accidental injury of a Rocky Mount hunter as a cautionary tale for others.
"It’s so easy to not get hurt out there hunting, but it’s the small things you have to think about," Etheridge said.
As Joseph B. Edmondson, 29, laid his gun in a vehicle early Monday morning, he jostled the safety of his brother's gun and ended up with buckshot in his thigh. Sgt. Carl Hatcher of the Wildlife Resources Commission said Edmondson and his brother, Kevin, of Roanoke Rapids, were among a party of about 30 people leaving from the Poor Boys Hunting Club Monday morning.
Etheridge said the excitement of the hunt and the presence of friends can be a distraction.
"Take a moment to see 'Is my gun unloaded? Is the safety on? Do I have it in its case?'" he suggested. "That’s all you need, but people overlook that."
Etheridge did not question the expertise of the Edmonsons and their friends. He said anyone can make a mistake, even those who have been hunting their whole lives.
"Most of the hunting accidents I’ve had this year, the people have had 20-plus years hunting experience," Etheridge said.
Kevin Edmondson's 12-gauge shotgun was in the vehicle, loaded and pointed out, Etheridge said. "We always teach to have your gun unloaded always, at all times, especially when traveling to and from where you are going hunting," he said.
"What you have to remember is that it’s a mechanical device. And anything mechanical is apt to fail you."
Deer season ends Jan. 2.