The fall hunting season is underway and the OPP will be patrolling trails in the region.

There are several things hunters can do to keep themselves and others around them safe during this hunting season.

Hunting Safety Rules:

  • All hunters must wear solid hunter orange clothing (minimum 400 square inches above the waist) and a hunter orange head cover during gun seasons for deer, moose and elk. Outside the gun season for deer, moose and elk these requirements also apply to bear hunters who are not hunting for a tree stand
  • Handle firearms with care and attention at all times.
  • Hunters must never shoot unless they are absolutely sure of their target and what lies beyond it.
  • It is illegal to shoot from a vehicle or carry a loaded firearm in or on a vehicle.
  • It is illegal to discharge a firearm from or across the travelled portion of a right of way for public vehicular traffic. In many parts of Ontario, it is also illegal to have a loaded firearm, or discharge a firearm, in any part of the right of way.
  • Never drink alcohol and hunt.
  • If you hunt from a tree stand always wear a safety harness and use a rope to raise and lower your firearm.

General Safety:

  • Tell someone where you will be hunting and when you will be returning.
  • Know the weather conditions in your hunting area and dress accordingly.
  • In an emergency, stay calm and stay put.
  • Avoid hypothermia. Know how to treat it if it strikes.
  • Keep rested, hydrated and well nourished.
  • Carry a survival kit and a small first aid kit with you at all times.
  • Know how to build a fire in all weather conditions and carry the supplies to start one.
  • Carry a map and compass or GPS unit and know how to use them.

(Written by: Patrick Grapes)