Former hunter gives safety tips after deadly turkey hunt in Great Barrington

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GREAT BARRINGTON (WWLP) – A Youth turkey-hunt was this past weekend in the Berkshires. It’s designed to be a safe and fun program to introduce youth to the world of hunting.

However, police told 22News, 44-year-old Christopher Puntin died, after he was shot while participating in that turkey hunt in Great Barrington on Saturday.

Although police believe the shooting was an accident, former hunter, John Martelli said hunters need to be careful this time of year — especially in turkey season, when hunters can be in disguise. 

“In turkey season they can wear camouflage so you need to be extra alert,” Martelli said. “You should know what your target is before you shoot. More or less common sense. They are a lot of hikers in the woods, you have to watch out for them.”

According to the International Hunter Education Association, the U.S. and Canada combined see around 1,000 hunting accidents a year. 

Ten percent of these hunting accidents end in death.

By State law, all first-time hunters 18 years or older must complete a Basic Hunter Education course before they purchase a Massachusetts hunting or sporting license. All courses are free and open to the public. 

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