Deer hunters are reminded to focus on safety as the 2018 Illinois Firearm Deer Season opens this week. The seven-day firearm season begins this Friday, Nov. 16 through Sunday, Nov. 18. A second round of firearm deer hunting will be held from Nov. 29-Dec. 2.
“Our firearm deer weekends are Illinois’ most popular hunting season, and amid all the excitement of the season, we want to remind hunters that safe hunting is the best hunting,” said Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Director Wayne Rosenthal. “Illinois’ hunting safety record is a good one, but even one hunting incident involving injuries or fatalities is one too many.”
The IDNR Office of Law Enforcement, which administers the Illinois Hunter Safety Education Program, reports there were 19 hunting incidents last year during all seasons, three of which involved fatalities. Ten of those incidents involved hunters falling from elevated tree stands or falling while climbing into or out of tree stands.
IDNR safety educators remind hunters using tree stands to use a Fall Arrest System (FAS) safety harness. Nationally, more than 80 percent of reported tree stand incidents involve hunters who were not using a fall restraint system. As additional precautions, hunters should check the harness, straps, ladder and other equipment to make sure they are in good working order. Hunters should also be aware of weather conditions that could make stands and steps slippery, and to have a mobile phone within reach to call for help, if needed.
Hunters can review tree stand safety online athttp://www.huntercourse.com/treestandsafety/.
For more information, please see this week’s print edition.