SAFETY FIRST DURING FIREARM DEER SEASON:

Article Posted: November 15, 2002

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SAFETY FIRST DURING FIREARM DEER SEASON

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources urges all hunters to
continue to practice Safety First! when they hunt this fall.
Michigan has more land open to public hunting than any state in the
eastern half of the U.S. During the 16-day firearm deer season, Nov.
15-30, nearly 750,000 hunters will spend millions of hours afield
hunting white-tailed deer.
While Michigan continues to be one of the safest places to hunt
white-tailed deer, hunters are still urged to practice Safety First!
Last season, 1/3 of the 15 hunting-related incidents involved
self-inflicted injuries. The remainders, including one fatality, were
attributed to violations of the law and/or safety practices.
Hunters can take simple, practical measures to avoid becoming a
statistic:
" Wear hunter orange--a hat, cap, vest, jacket or rain gear. This
color is highly visible to other hunters but not to deer. Wearing hunter
orange is not only a good idea--it's required by law, a law, now in its
twenty-fifth year, that has proven to save lives!
" Know where your hunting partners are at all times before
shooting. A large percentage of hunting-related injuries involve members
of the same hunting party.
" Be sure of your target and beyond. If in doubt--don't shoot!
" Handle firearms safely--handle every firearm as if it were
loaded. Keep the muzzle of the gun pointed in a safe direction, your
finger off the trigger and the safety on until ready to shoot.
" Never load your firearm before you are ready. When traveling to
and from your hunting blind, take down or have your actions open, and
always carry your firearms unloaded in their cases.
" Respect the rights of landowners. Request permission to hunt on
private lands--it's the law!

One fatality related to a fall from an elevated stand occurred
during the 2001 firearm deer season, three fatal falls have occurred
during the 2002 archery deer season. Deer hunters electing
to hunt from elevated platforms this fall should observe the following
rules of safe tree stand hunting:
" Practice setting up your stand and safety equipment at ground
level first. Remember, only portable stands are allowed on public land
and screw-in steps are prohibited on public land.
" Make sure all equipment is in good working order.
" Always use a safety belt and/or harness.
" Always use a haul line when raising or lowering your firearm or
crossbow; keeping the line away from trigger mechanisms and hauling
stock first. Lower equipment into a safe position-- not directly in your
line of descent.
" Always unload your firearm or crossbow before pulling it up to,
or lowering it from, an elevated platform.

Enjoy a safe, successful hunting season!




Source: MDNR






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