SYLACAUGA, Ala. – Deer hunters have been in the woods with bows for over a month now, but many more will flock to their favorite tree stands and food plots when gun season starts tomorrow. With so many people heading into the woods, it is important to be as safe as possible to avoid serious hunting accidents.

During the 2015-2016 calendar year, there were 18 total hunting related accidents in the state of Alabama including three fatalities.

According to District Two Assistant for Wildlife and Law Enforcement for Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division Ginger Howell, most hunting accidents result in tree stand failure.

Here are a few things hunters can do to avoid those tree stand accidents:

  • Hunters should always check their stands before making the climb to make sure it is in proper condition.
  • Hunters should always secure themselves to the tree with a full body harness to avoid a fall.
  • If using a climber, hunters should practice at home before taking the stand into the woods with no one around.

The second leading cause of hunting accidents, according to Howell, is improper gun handling. This includes leaving guns in vehicles and even leaning a gun on a tree. Hunters should always treat a gun as if it is loaded and never point a gun at anything that is not intended to be shot.

Here are some other gun safety tips for hunters:

  • Hunters should make sure that nothing is blocking the barrel, like mud, udring discharge do avoid backfire.
  • Hunters should always unload a gun before crawling under a fence or climbing into a stand to avoid misfire.
  • Hunters should never mix guns with mind-altering drugs or alcoholic beverages.
  • Hunters should always be sure of their target and know what is in front of and beyond their target.

One of the most significant safety tips given by Howell is for hunters to wear ‘hunter orange.’ Howell emphasized hunters need to have on the 144 continuous square inches of hunter orange that is required by law.

For more tips on staying safe during hunting season visit outdooralabama.com.

Jeremy Law for SylacaugaNews.com | © 2016, SylacaugaNews.com/Marble City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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