A freak hunting accident has led to a 17-year-old’s tragic death.
While out hunting, a North Carolina teen’s stand turned, and he ended up falling on the barrel of his rifle.
Teenager Dies in Accident
According to WTVA, the Tishomingo County coroner said the boy was Justin Lee Smith. The 17-year-old fell 10 feet onto the rifle. The rifle then impaled him through the chest.
While Smith was still able to call 911 after his fall, he died shortly after before the police arrived at the scene.
The event is still under investigation.
According to Daily News, the family has a GoFundMe page available for donations to fund Smith’s funeral.
“Due to a recent job change the life insurance policy that would have covered funeral expenses was deactivated. The family thanks you again for any help and prayers,” the GoFundMe page reads.
Avoiding Hunting Incidents
According to the International Hunter Education Association, fewer than 1,000 people both in the U.S. and Canada are accidentally shot by hunters. There are fewer than 75 that die due to accidents that are self-inflicted. This includes tripping or falling or somehow accidentally shooting themselves with their gun.
Since hunting incidents, as well as overall firearm incidents, have been on the rise, it is important to remember key hunter safety tips.
One is to be cautious with hunter stands. For example, make sure you are awake and alert when you decide to use a hunting stand. While these stands are helpful in not leaving a ground scent, they can be very dangerous. The best way to protect yourself on a tree stand is to wear a harness or fall restraint that attaches to the tree.
Another tip is to never hunt alone or to have a phone on you in case of an emergency. Someone should know where you are planning to hunt prior to leaving.
Always wear some kind of bright clothing. Most hunters wear bright orange along with camo. This is important so other hunters don’t mistake you for game. Many deaths are from accidental shootings while hunting. This also means while hunting be sure before shooting what you’re shooting and what is between you and the target.
Always be sure to carry an emergency kit, especially while alone. Watch out for things like snakes or public property markings while outside.
Lastly, make sure gun safety is a priority. This means never pointing a gun at others and treat even unloaded guns as if they are loaded. While using tree stands, be sure to never climb with a loaded gun.
Hunting alone can be quite peaceful, but it can be dangerous without proper precautions.