With hunting season just around the corner, Indiana Conservation Officers want to remind hunters to put safety first as they take to the woods or waters this hunting season. Thousands of hunters will be participating in the sport this season, and the Department of Natural Resources would like to ensure that all hunters understand these basic tips.
First, always point the muzzle of the gun in a safe direction, and never assume that a gun isn’t loaded. Most accidental shootings happen this way and most of them occur in the home. Before shooting, make sure that you know that your target is a game animal. Make sure that you don’t shoot at flashes of color as those flashes could be another person.
For those hunters in search of deer, be careful in your stands. Falls from elevated tree stands are the number one cause of hunting related injuries each year. Most of these falls result in serious injury or death, so be sure to be cautious climbing in and out of your stand. Make sure to use solid foot and hand holds while climbing. Also, never climb in or out of your deer stand with your weapon in your hands or slung across your back.
Everyone should be careful when entering the woods around hunting season. Be sure to wear hunter orange garments at all times. If using ATVs as part of your hunt, make sure to ride responsibly and always wear a helmet. Don’t go into unfamiliar territory and, if possible, always ride with a partner; hunting in pairs is always safer. If you must go out alone, however, be sure to tell someone where you will be going and when they should expect you to return, and take a fully charged cell phone with you every time you hunt.
DNR officers want everyone to enjoy hunting and be a positive example to others by practicing safe firearm handling and responsible hunting practices. If you witness a hunting violation, please contact the Indiana Conservation Officer’s dispatch center at (812)837-9256 or make an anonymous tip by calling 1 (800) TIP-IDNR.