Hunting-related accidents occur worldwide during the hunting season. The "true incidence" of hunting-related accidents in Denmark is not illuminated in that no compulsory systematic registration procedure is available. The possible impact of alcohol consumption on the risk of being involved in a hunting accident is not yet known; however, the subject frequently is debated throughout the world.
From a cross-sectional survey including 1,797 Danish hunters over a 5-year period (1997-2002), we found 71 hunting-related accidents where the hunter was either witness to or directly involved in the event. In 32 cases, the hunter was directly involved in the event. We estimated the incidence and risk of being involved in a hunting-related accident. We performed logistic regression analysis to reveal the possible impact of selected effect variables. Level of significance was 95%.
The yearly incidence of being involved in an accident is 4.0 per 1,000 Danish hunters. The projected cumulated risk of a 21-year-old hunter to be involved in at least one hunting-related accident during a period of 20 years and 40 years is 7% and 14%, respectively. We found a significantly increased risk of being directly involved in or witness to a hunting-related accident with increased alcohol intake.
The incidence of hunting-related accidents in Denmark seems considerably higher than reported. Compulsory and systematic registration of all hunting-related accidents involving firearms should be introduced in Denmark. Legislation rules regarding alcohol intake during hunting should be considered by the authorities.