A Saskatchewan conservation officer is reminding hunters to stay aware of targets, and surroundings, after a tragic accident northeast of Prince Albert Saturday.
“Keep your finger off of the trigger and only shoot things you want to shoot,” officer Rich Hildebrand said.
The reminder comes after the death of a 23-year-old man from Prince Albert. He and another man were hunting at the same time, in the same area, near Weirdale.
Shortly after 8 p.m. Saturday, police were called to a rural field where they found the victim dead from an apparent gunshot wound.
The incident was reported to police by the other hunter, a 22-year old man who remained at the scene. Police said the two men were not known to each other and the death is not considered suspicious.
“Unfortunately, it does happen on occasion and yet we have a lot of things that we try and do to get across to hunters to make sure that they are being safe,” Hildebrand said.
The conservation officer said hunters are encouraged to wear high visibility or bright clothing during rifle season, despite regulations and specific seasons that may allow camouflage clothing.
The Saskatchewan Association for Fire Arm Education (SAFE) is a non-profit association of volunteer instructors who deliver the hunter safety program in the province.
SAFE general manager Shawna Aufner said safety is paramount, which makes these incidents hard to hear about.
“As a group of hunters … it’s very upsetting,” Aufner said.
Aufner noted the rigorous training program includes pairing students with experienced instructors to ensure the rules become second nature.
“Our (12) commandments are basically your rules of the field when your hunting. If you could follow those, there should never be an incident.”
In Saskatchewan, hunters born after the year 1971 are required to complete a firearm safety and hunter education course before purchasing a hunting licence.
– With files from 650 CKOM’s Brent Bosker and Chris Vandenbreekel.