Deer hunters urged to remember safety

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Community News & People in the News

Published on October 05, 2021 with No Comments

With the deer reduction zone season underway, youth deer season Sept. 25-26, and the statewide archery deer season starting Oct. 1, Indiana Conservation Officers remind hunters to stay safe.

The various deer hunting seasons run through Jan. 31, 2022. It is estimated that more than 300,000 people will participate in some form of deer hunting in Indiana during that span. 

The most common injuries during deer seasons are accidents involving tree stands and elevated platforms. Hunters should follow the safety tips listed below when hunting from an elevated position:

Before the hunt:

  • Read and understand the tree stand manufacturer’s instructions. 
  • Check tree stands and equipment for wear, fatigue, and cracks or loose nuts/bolts, paying particularly close attention to parts made of material other than metal. 
  • Practice at ground level. 
  • Learn how to properly wear your full-body safety harness. 

During the hunt:

  • Wear your full-body safety harness. 
  • Use a tree stand safety rope. 
  • Make certain to attach your harness to the tree before leaving the ground, and that it remains attached to the tree until you return to the ground. 
  • Maintain three points of contact during ascent and descent. 
  • Use boots with non-slip soles to avoid slipping. 
  • Use a haul line to raise and lower firearms, bows and other hunting gear. 
  • Make certain firearms are unloaded, action open, and safety on before attaching the haul line. 

Additional safety tips:

  • Carry emergency equipment, such as a cell phone and flashlight. 
  • Make a plan before you hunt. 
  • Tell someone your plan, including where you will be hunting and when you plan to return. 
  • Stick to your plan. 
  • Identify game before pointing a firearm. 
  • Know your target and what is beyond it. 

For more information, see hunting.IN.gov.  

Hunters can donate deer to help feed hungry Hoosiers

Conservation Officers encourage Indiana hunters to donate harvested deer to help feed hungry Hoosiers.

The Sportsmen’s Benevolence Fund administered by the DNR Division of Law Enforcement provides grants to Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry, the Dubois County Sportsmen Club, and Hunters and Farmers Feeding the Hungry to pay for processing fees when hunters donate legally harvested deer. 

 Participating in the program is simple:

  1. Enjoy a deer hunting experience.
  2. Harvest a deer.
  3. Drop off the field-dressed deer at a local participating processor.
  4. Processing fees are paid for by the Sportsmen’s Benevolence Fund.
  5. The processor will create healthy venison burger to distribute to food banks.

The participating organizations notify food banks throughout Indiana when venison is ready to be collected from certified Sportsmen’s Benevolence Fund butchers. The food banks distribute venison to soup kitchens and food pantries.  

As a result of the 2020 deer hunting seasons, the Sportsmen’s Benevolence Fund provided funding to process more than 360 harvested deer that resulted in more than 20,650 pounds of venison being donated.  

For information on donating your harvested deer and participating processors, please visit sbf.IN.gov.

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