The National Shooting Sports Foundation recently ran a comparison of the relative safety of the top recreational sports. I expected that hunting would rank somewhere towards the top of the list, but instead hunting with firearms is actually one of the safest recreational activities in America. In the final report hunting ranks third in safety when compared to 28 other recreational pursuits, ranging from baseball to wrestling. Hunting with firearms has an injury rate of 0.05 percent, which equates to about 1 injury per 2,000 participants, a safety level bettered only by camping (.01 percent) and billiards (.02 percent). For comparison, golf has an injury rate of 0.16 percent (1 injury per 622 participants), while tackle football topped the list of activities with an injury rate of 5.27 percent (1 injury per 19 participants).
Take a second look … golf has an injury rate of 0.16 percent… hunting with firearms has an injury rate of 0.05 percent. Normally I do not find humor in statistics, but honestly this is the best statistic that I have come across in a long time. Next time your friends are ready to go out golfing you need to go grab your trusty hunting rifle and tell them “golf is too dangerous” and you need to stick with hunting. You might need to print out the compiled data that NSSF provides, as I can assure you that your statement will be debated.
Here are the highlights of the research by NSSF:
HUNTING VERSUS OTHER ACTIVIES:
A person is 11 times more likely to be injured playing volleyball than hunting.
A person is 19 times more likely to be injured snowboarding than hunting.
A person is 25 times more likely to be injured cheerleading or bicycle riding than hunting.
A person is 34 times more likely to be injured playing soccer or skateboarding than hunting.
A person is 105 times more likely to be injured playing tackle football than hunting.