DNR offers safe hunting tips

LAKE COUNTY — Rifle season brings out droves of hunters to the forests, thickets and fields of Lake County. Hunters, for their own safety and the safety of others out in the woods, should use extra precautions while hunting deer. 

According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, there are 10 tips deer hunters should know.

  • Treat every firearm as if it’s loaded. 
  • Point the muzzle of the gun in a safe direction.
  • Be certain of the target and what is beyond it. Know the identifying features of the game being hunted and don’t shoot at a flat, hard surface or water. 
  • Fingers should be kept outside the trigger guard and off the trigger until ready to shoot.
  • Don’t climb, jump or run with a loaded firearm. Unload a firearm before climbing or jumping. Don’t handle a firearm by the muzzle.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages before and during hunting, and stay clear of mind-or behavior-altering medicines or drugs before and during hunting.
  • During rifle season, all hunters on any land during daylight hours must wear hunter orange that is visible from all sides. 
  • Camouflage hunter orange is legal provided 50 percent of the surface area is solid hunter orange during rifle season. 
  • Always keep someone informed of hunting location and the time planned for return. This helps conservation officers locate people who get lost or assist in emergency situations. 
  • Cellphones should be carried into the woods. Turn the ringer to vibrate. Cellphones emit a signal which can help rescuers locate people when lost. Make sure cellphones are fully charged before leaving for the woods. If a person has a smartphone, download a compass and flashlight app.