Albany, NY (WIBX) - According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, last year's hunting season tied 2009 for the safest year on record.

Officials with the group say in all of 2011's hunting seasons, 26 personal injury hunting-related accidents were reported. Among those were four fatalities, including one that was self-inflicted.

Overall, the hunting incident rate has decreased by more than 70 percent since the 1960's.

The DEC stresses the success of New York's hunter safety programs, offered free of charge to hunters, that must be taken and passed before hunting licenses can be bought.

The agency still recommends, though, that hunters follow basic hunting rules, including wearing hunter orange and treating all guns as if they were loaded.