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Hunting deaths are not accidents but negligence

The recent death of a bowhunter in Dolores County is a travesty and was completely avoidable.

One of the basic tenets of gun ownership and hunter education is “know your target and beyond.” The negligence that occurred should not have happened nor should it ever happen again. Aiming or firing your weapon at a flash of color, noise or a disturbance in the brush is completely unacceptable. Anyone who blatantly ignores this basic rule of weapon safety should be held responsible to the highest degree of the law. A human life was taken, and a family devastated from the loss of their son, father, uncle and brother for no reason.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife recommends wearing hunter orange during all seasons, but that is a statement that places blame on a victim. Perhaps it is time to re-evaluate season overlap since folks using firearms seem to ignore the basic rules of gun safety often enough that one of these cases of negligence happens each year in Colorado.

Again, there is no reason that this negligence should occur and people need to be held to higher standards. This is not a problem that can be solved by government intervention (i.e., blaze clothing requirements during archery season) but rather a systemic issue that can be helped with a reorganization of seasons and better education.

Luke Kline