IC sheriff offers hunters’ valuable safety tips

CRYSTAL FALLS—With November 15 upon us, our forests begin to come alive with camo and blaze orange hunting gear. Iron County Sheriff Mark Valesano would like to remind citizens of some important safety rules before setting out to the woods.
    • Your hunting license and the identification used to purchase it (Michigan driver’s license, identification card, or DNR sport card) must be carried with you at all times while hunting.
    • Hunting hours begin approximately one-half hour before sunrise and last until approximately one-half hour after sunset.
    • Safety zones include all areas within 150 yards (450 feet) of an occupied building, house, cabin, barn, or other farm building. You may not hunt in this area or shoot at any animal within this area, unless you have the written permission of the property owner.
    • It is illegal to drink alcohol or use intoxicating drugs before hunting.
    Valesano suggests that hunters take the following precautions to help prevent injury or death while hunting this season:
    • Familiarize yourself with the area where you will be hunting.
    • If hunting alone, let someone know where you plan to hunt.
    • Never assume you are the only one out in the woods.
    • Be 100 percent sure of your target before shooting.
    • Always keep your firearm’s muzzle pointed in safe direction.
    • Make it a habit to check your firearm’s safety often while hunting.
    • Keep your finger outside of the trigger guard until you are ready to fire.
    • Encourage your hunting partners to be safe while in the hunting woods.
    • Be in control of your emotions. If you hit your target you will probably get excited, but that doesn’t mean wave your firearm around wildly to celebrate. Keep yourself and your companions safe by keeping your emotions under control.
    “Safety is the most important part of being able to enjoy the outdoors and the hunting experience,” Valesano added.