November 18th thru December 3rd marks Indiana’s peak firearm deer hunting season, meaning gun-rifle
season is fast approaching and hunters of all types will soon be looking
for the best location to fire their first shots. Crown Hill Cemetery and
Funeral Home in Indianapolis, well known to many Hoosiers as the burial
place for President Benjamin Harrison, and Vice Presidents Thomas Marshall,
Charles Fairbanks and Thomas Hendricks, recently made national news for
its campaign aimed at keeping hunters off the 555-acre grounds this season.
Although cemetery officials place “no hunting” signs throughout
the area to warn off potential hunters, Crown Hill officials say they
do have issues each year with hunters shooting at deer or building faulty
deer stands on the grounds. Officials say that when hunters trespass on
the property, liability and safety issues and incidents quickly arise,
leading many into the path of a serious accident or legal dispute.
As the busiest hunting season approaches and Hoosiers are getting their
camouflage and blaze orange out, the team at Wagner Reese has put together
a helpful list that includes several deer hunting hazards that may require
an experienced attorney to sort through.
Although it is less than common for a trespasser to successfully sue a
property owner for an injury, it is not unheard of – especially
if the landowner has acted violently or aggressively toward the hunter
and caused injury. If the landowner is obviously negligent about a serious
property hazard and there have not been any warnings, private property
fencing, or precaution taken, the landowner may be found at fault. Under
Indiana law, it is illegal to hunt, trap, chase or retrieve game on private
land without the consent of the tenant or a signed
private landowner permission form.
Studies show that 1/3 of all hunters will experience a tree stand fall
during their hunting career. For example, of the 182 hunting accident
reports authored by Indiana’s DNR Division of Law Enforcement over
the past five years, 109 involved falls from tree stands. Tree stand falls
are some of the most common serious deer hunting issues and can result
in life altering neck, back, and head injuries. For the sake of you and
your family, use a fall arrest device, harness, or any other products
to minimize your chances of a tree stand accident.
Hunter safety courses and the wearing of blaze orange have certainly helped
decrease the amount of deaths unintentionally caused by hunters each year
but most hunting weapons like firearms and bows are still incredibly dangerous
if improperly handled. The simple rush of a hunt can often throw even
the most experienced sportsman into a whirlwind of confused excitement.
Pulling the trigger at the first sight of movement happens and causes
many serious accidents with roughly ten percent of all accidental shootings
ending in death. Stay aware of these outlined cautions on how misfires
and accidental shootings can occur to Indiana hunters.
Many hunters will use an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) or off-road vehicle
(ORV) to travel to their hunting grounds. Despite the lack of consistent
regulation across the United States, there are basic recommendations echoed
by nearly every major ATV/ORV safety organization including these:
A new state law requires children under age 18 to wear an approved helmet
when riding any ATV/ORV on public or private property in Indiana, including
Interlake and Redbird state recreation areas.
Of course, we want you to experience the excitement of the season, but
to stay focused on the safety of the hunt as well. So always let someone
else know of your hunting plans and include your location and where you
will be parking your vehicle. Carry a charged cell phone with you in case
of an emergency and let a friend or relative know when you expect to return.
For a full list of hunting safety tips, the
U.S. Department of Agriculture offers detailed advice for venturing out into the woods.
If you have been injured in a hunting accident, whether from the recklessness
of another hunter or a negligent landowner, or from a product malfunction, the
personal injury and
product liability attorneys at Wagner Reese can assist you in recovering the damages you are owed.
Contact us now at (888) 204-8440 to schedule an appointment in our Indianapolis
or Carmel offices, or use our convenient, confidential