Fifteen safety incidents were reported, including one death in September when a coyote hunter shot another hunter in St. Clair County. The Department of Natural Resources said there were three fewer incidents in 2011, but five were fatal.
DNR law enforcement chief Gary Hagler said the keys to avoiding such mishaps include wearing orange clothing, being certain of the target and handling firearms safely.
Three of last year's incidents involved shooters who were minors. The youngest was a 6-year-old boy who was unloading his gun when it discharged, hitting his father in the leg.
The number of incidents has dropped sharply since 2007, when there were 32. Hegler credits Michigan's hunter education program for the improvement.