Hunting of all sorts is extremely popular in Alabama, as most know, and we are in the deer hunting season at present. A state wildlife official has strongly recommended that hunters review and follow safety rules. A number of deer hunters are killed each year and while the numbers aren’t real large, any death is one too many. Firearms deer season, the most popular hunting season in Alabama, opened November 19th. All hunters should review safety rules and follow them to the letter. Ray Metzler, assistant chief of the wildlife division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, says:
Safety should be at the forefront while hunting. If a hunter is going to use an elevated stand, they should unload their gun before getting in the stand and before getting off the stand.
Ray is the former hunter education coordinator for the Department. In hunter safety classes, students are instructed that before getting in a stand, their gun should be unloaded, the safety should be on, the action open and the muzzle pointed down. Each year more than 250,000 licensed hunters take to the state’s fields and woods, according to the Department’s website. Fortunately, fatalities among hunters are rare, according to figures released by the Department.
Over the past two years, the leading cause of injuries and fatalities among hunters has been related to tree stand accidents, according to the Department’s data. In 2010, there were 18 tree stand accidents reported, with five of them being fatal. Of the hunters who fell to their deaths in Alabama last year, one was in Autauga County and one was in Dallas County, records show. In 2009, there were 14 tree stand accidents reported, with one fatality.
Hunters using elevated stands also should use full-body harnesses while they are on the stand and while they are climbing up or climbing down from the stand, Metzler said. Last season there were four firearms-related accidents reported with one fatality, according to state data. A 16-year-old died while hunting in Choctaw County when his gun was dropped inside a shooting house and discharged. In 2009, there were 11 firearms-related accidents reported with one fatality, records show.
Source: Montgomery Advertiser
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