Pheasant hunting season is opening in Iowa on the heels of a 10-year trend of declining accidents.
The Des Moines Register reports that hunting accidents have dropped dramatically since their peak in the mid-1960s. More than 100 hunting accidents were reported each year from 1965 to 1967.
The Register's analysis of state data found that 58 deaths were reported in that time period. By contrast, there were 102 accidents reported over the last five years, and three of them were fatal.
State and local officials say the decline is due to mandatory hunter education courses, a requirement to wear orange clothing, and a shrinking number of hunters.