RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – The tragic shooting death of a Ferrum College student in an alleged hunting accident is putting new focus on hunting safety.
Lee Kern is only 32 years old, but has been hunting for more than 24 years. He said that he never leaves on a trip without taking every safety precaution imaginable.
Kern and all hunters must take a variety safety courses in order to be given a permit to hunt.
He is a member of a decades old hunting club that over its entire history has never had an accident.
Kern said today that the vast majority of hunters are smart and responsible, but it only takes one to make a tragic mistake.
"Accidents with guns correspond with accidents with vehicles," Kern said. "You are not supposed to do certain things. You have to be as safe as you possibly can, but accidents do happen. You could have a malfunction with your gun and it could go off unexpectedly and it wouldn't be your fault but somebody could end up getting hurt from it."
Kern said that the focus on hunting safety has gone up dramatically over time and most people who participate in the sport understand their responsibility.
And it is important for hunters to know what they can and can't do, depending on where they hunt.
The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries provides this handy guide that explains the specific regulations for every county in the commonwealth.