Hunting seasons underway in Virginia

Published 11:52 am Saturday, October 28, 2017

The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries would like to remind hunters that an enjoyable day in the woods begins with hunting safely. First and foremost, DGIF wants to stress to sportsmen/women and persons accompanying a hunter, that during the muzzleloader deer hunting season, blaze orange or blaze pink — new for 2017 season — must be worn when moving to and from hunting destinations. The only exception to wearing blaze orange or blaze pink is when physically located in the tree-stand or other stationary hunting location.

When hunting any species during the general firearms deer season, every hunter, or person accompanying a hunter, must wear blaze orange or blaze pink at all times. Although accidental shootings are very rare, it is also a good idea for non-hunters to wear blaze orange or blaze pink outdoors during deer season. These blaze colors drastically reduce the chance of being mistaken for a game animal.

Hunters are encouraged to strictly follow three basic rules for hunting safely:

1) Treat every firearm as if it were loaded;

2) Control the direction of your firearm’s muzzle, keeping it pointed in a safe direction; and

3) Before shooting, positively identify your target and what is beyond.

Hunters using tree stands should follow this advice:

1) Stay attached to the tree with a full-body harness whenever you are off the ground;

2) Use a haul line to get your unloaded gun or bow into and out of the tree stand. Maintain three points of contact and never climb with equipment;

3) Inspect tree-stands before using and keep them in good working condition; and

4) Stay alert and awake. If you start to nod off, get back to the ground.