Remember all aspects of safety during this deer hunting season

Nearly 500,000 hunters will head afield for the Minnesota firearms white-tailed deer hunting opener. When it comes to hunter safety, learn it, preach it, and – most of all – practice it yourself, because it’s easy to get overconfident and become careless. Always remain conscious of safety when you head to the woods.

We regularly hear about the decline of hunter numbers, but there are newcomers entering the outdoor sport every year. Set a good example and help new hunters, both young and old, become familiar with firearms sports so they can enjoy hunting for years to come.

If you’re a newbie, pay close attention to what is happening around you, learn from others, but don’t just assume that more experienced hunters are behaving safely or ethically. Put your common sense safety skills to work and don’t be afraid to call someone out for being careless.

Gun safety:
1. Become familiar with your firearm. Know how to carry it, load it, unload it, and know what to expect when you pull the trigger.
2. Always assume every gun is loaded and always point the muzzle in a safe direction. Never point your gun at another person.
3. Never put your finger on the trigger unless you intend to shoot.
4. Your firearm has a safety. Keep it in the ‘On’ position until you intend to shoot.
5. Be sure of your target and what is behind it before pulling the trigger.

There are so many different ways for a hunter to get injured or worse during the deer season, but more injuries and deaths are caused by falls from treestands during the deer season than any other type of accident.

Treestand safety:
1. Always carry a cell phone and keep it on yourself. Don’t put it in a pack that you may take off and hang in the tree because if you fall you want your phone readily available to call for help.
2. Always install and maintain treestands with at least one other person.
3. Check all your steps and straps and replace anything that is worn or weathered.
4. Always wear a full body harness when in a treestand. Wear it properly.
5. Always use a rope to pull up your gun or bow.
6. Be aware of your surroundings and never shoot towards another hunter.

These are all things that hunters have been taught over and over, but every year people injure themselves by making careless mistakes. Please be safe out there, and good luck hunting everyone!

Finally, don’t forget to share pictures of your success with us at www.outdoornews.com/Photos/

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