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Wis Med J. 1990 Oct;89(10):573-6.

Hunting-related injuries.

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Department of Surgery, Gundersen/Lutheran Medical Center, La Crosse, Wisconsin.


One hundred four patients treated for injuries incurred while hunting were prospectively studied during two consecutive fall seasons. A questionnaire was completed at initial evaluation and hospital records were subsequently reviewed. One hundred (98%) patients were male. Patient ages ranged from 10 to 78 years (median = 32 years). Mechanism of injury included knife or arrow penetrations (25), firearm wounds (12), falls (17), overexertion (5), and misadventures with hazards (40). Soft tissue, maxillofacial and orthopedic injuries predominated. Four patients experienced cardiac events. Hypothermia was noted in three, and animal-related injuries occurred in five. Eighteen (17%) patients were hospitalized. Serious injury was evident in 34 (33%). There were no deaths. Outpatient follow-up was necessary in 90%. Mishaps most frequently occurred because of overexcitement, unfamiliarity with equipment, or carelessness. Alcohol and drug use were only rarely identified. Almost one half of patients were injured during the 9-day gun deer hunting season. A wide variety of injuries occur during hunting activities. While many are minor, serious morbidity with potential long-term disability may result. Costs in time and money may be substantial. Simple measures could prevent many hunting-related mishaps.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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