With deer hunting season underway in Michigan, the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association and Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey are offering 10 tips to keep hunters safe:
1. Always tell someone when you go hunting or leave a note. Whenever you go out, make sure someone knows the area you will be in and when you are expecting to be back. This is important for hunting safety just in case there is an accident, they will know where to find you.
2. Treat every weapon as if it were loaded. This means point the muzzle in a safe direction, do not put your finger on the trigger unless prepared to shoot. Making this a habit will keep you and your hunting partners safe.
3. Dress for the weather. Protect yourself from hypothermia by checking the forecast and dressing appropriately. Simply being prepared will keep you safe hunting.
4. Never hunt alone. Always have someone else with you or hunt with a group. This will protect you in case of an accident, having someone else with you to call for help if needed is vital.
5. Check your equipment regularly and maintain it. Equipment that isn’t well maintained can be a hazard to yourself and everyone around you. This is essential for hunting safety.
6. When hunting with a firearm you must wear hunter’s orange. This must be visible from all sides and worn on any hunting property. This will make yourself well seen by other hunters in the area.
7. Be aware of what your target is. Be sure that what you’re planning to shoot is your intended target and not another hunter. Be sure to help other hunters be safe as well.
8. Be in control of your emotions. If you hit a target you will probably get excited, but that doesn’t mean waving your firearm around wildly to celebrate. Keep yourself and your companions safe. The same goes for hunting when angry, It should go without saying you shouldn’t be in possession of a weapon if your emotions are out of control.
9. Wear hearing and eye protection. It’s required at the range and you should do the same while hunting. Protect your sight and hearing from damage.
10. Don’t hunt while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These substances impair judgment as well as your ability to control your emotions. It isn’t wise to use a firearm while under the influence because it will not keep you or your companions safe