Safe Hunting Tips for Oct. 1 Opening Day

Safe Hunting Tips for Oct. 1 Opening Day


Indiana Conservation Officers are offering safety tips to keep Hoosier deer hunters safe during the 2016 season which began with archery season on October 1.


More than 300,000 people will participate in deer hunting activities in the state extending through January 3, 2017.

On average, 33 people will be injured in hunting related accidents in Indiana during the hunting seasons with 18 of those injuries occurring as a result of falls from elevated platforms (data dating from 2006 through 2015).

“Although the number of accidents are low across the state, it is always a tragedy when the accident is preventable”, said Lt. Larry Morrison, Outdoor Education Commander. “Application of simple safety steps can greatly reduce the risk of injury when hunting from an elevated stand or participating in hunting activities.”

Indiana Conservation Officers offer these safety tips when hunting from elevated platforms:

Before the Hunt

  • Read and understand tree stand manufacturer’s instructions
  • Check stands for wear, fatigue, cracks or loose nuts/bolts
  • Practice at ground level
  • Learn how to properly wear your Full Body Harness.

During the Hunt

  • Wear your Full Body Harness
  • Make certain that you attach your harness to the tree before leaving the ground
  • When using a ladder stand or fixed stand always maintain three points of contact during the ascent/descent. Install and utilize a life-line system. Immediately attach your Full Body Harness to the tree when arriving on the platform.
  • Use boots with non-slip soles to avoid slipping.
  • Use a haul line to raise and lower firearms, bows and hunting gear.
  • Make certain that firearms are unloaded before attaching the haul line.
  • Never attach a haul line to the trigger or trigger guard.

“The percentage of our hunters who are injured each year is .0001 when compared to the amount of participants”, said Captain Gary Whitaker, North Region Commander. “As first responders and advocates of public safety and welfare, we appreciate the extra effort our citizens give to maintain their safety when involved in hunting activities.”

Additional hunting safety tips:

  • Carry emergency equipment, such as a cell phone, flashlight or whistle.
  • Carry a survival kit with items, such as fire building materials, food items, bandages and gauze.
  • Make a plan before you hunt and stay with your plan.
  • Tell someone where you are and what time you plan to return.
  • Identify game before pointing a firearm.
  • Know your target and what is beyond it.
  • Mark all ground blinds with 144 inches of solid hunter orange, as required by law.

“Keeping our citizens safe is a top priority for Indiana Conservation Officers”, said Danny L. East, DNR Law Enforcement Director. “We will continue to promote hunter safety practices throughout the state with hope that we can further reduce the number of injuries experienced in the field.”

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