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Hunters: make safety a priority while enjoying the outdoors this season

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(stock photo)

Ontario Provincial Police remind hunters that safety should be a priority while enjoying the outdoors this fall.

There are several things hunters can do to keep themselves and others around them safe during this hunting season. Hunters should keep the following safety rules in mind:

  • All hunters must wear solid hunter orange clothing (minimum 400 square inches above the waist) and a hunter orange head cover during gun seasons for deer, moose, and elk. Outside the gun season for deer, moose, and elk these requirements also apply to bear hunters who are not hunting from a tree stand
  • Handle firearms with care and attention at all times. 
  • Hunters must never shoot unless they are absolutely sure of their target and what lies beyond it. 
  • It is illegal to shoot from a vehicle or carry a loaded firearm in or on a vehicle.
  • It is illegal to discharge a firearm from or across the travelled portion of a right of way for public vehicular traffic. 
  • Never drink alcohol and hunt.
  • If you hunt from a tree stand always wear a safety harness and use a rope to raise and lower your unloaded firearm.

General Safety:

  • Tell someone where you will be hunting and when you will be returning.
  • Know the weather conditions in your hunting area and dress accordingly.                       
  • In an emergency, stay calm and stay put.
  • Avoid hypothermia. Know how to treat it if it strikes.
  • Keep rested, hydrated and well nourished.
  • Carry a survival kit and a small first aid kit with you at all times.
  • Know how to build a fire in all weather conditions and carry the supplies to start one.
  • Carry a map and compass or GPS unit and know how to use them.

"Safety is a priority when hunting. Be sure you're familiar with the safety rules before venturing out to enjoy this outdoor activity," says OPP Staff Sergeant Rene Paille.