Hunting accidents in South Dakota have risen by 50 percent over this same period last year, but officials don’t know why.

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South Dakota hunting accidents this past fall were up more than 50 percent from the previous year, though state officials are unsure why. “It could be because we keep track of more things,” said Jason Kool, HuntSAFE coordinator for Game, Fish and Parks. “And people are becoming more aware that they need to report incidents.” Fifty-six hunting-related accidents were reported to the agency last year, including one fatality, compared with 36 incidents the previous year. This makes 2011 the second-highest year for injuries since GF&P began collecting the records in 1988.

According to the story, there have been 806 hunting incidents in South Dakota since 1988, including 21 deaths. Is it simply a statistical anomaly due to better reporting, or a real increase due to more hunters in the field? Have you noticed an increase in hunting accidents in your state?