The most dangerous place to be during hunting season is in or near a vehicle where people illegally carry loaded guns, says Colorado Division of Wildlife spokesman Todd Malmsbury. Some fatalities don't require guns, however. A hunter near Gunnison, Colo., on Oct. 13, backed his Ford pickup over his tent, killing a companion sleeping inside. The death continues to be investigated.
Despite the grim stories, the Colorado woods are getting safer. The average annual number of hunting fatalities in Colorado has dropped from as many as 13 in the 1960s to an average of 1.4 during the 1990s, says Malmsbury. He attributes the drop to Colorado legislation that requires hunters born after 1949 to take a hunter safety course before receiving a license.
Utah has seen only one fatality this year and one horse killing. In Garfield County, Utah, a hunter sneaked into the camp of two men who were stalking "his' elk, and slashed the tires of their pickups. In retaliation, they shot his horse.
* Heather Abel
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