As hunters prepare to head into the woods, there are some things to be aware of when you plan on going hunting.

The numbers don't lie and those numbers show that New York State is safer than ever. However, mistakes can be and will be made each year. Every hunting-related shooting incident is preventable. The Department of Environmental Conservation is encouraging hunters to use common sense this season and to please remember the material taught in the DEC Hunter Education Course.

New legislation this year will allow 12 and 13-year-olds to hunt big game with firearms, which is exciting, but also a reason to be extra careful this year when you're out hunting. Some things to always remember when hunting:

  • Always point the gun in a safe direction
  • Treat every gun as if it were loaded
  • Be sure of your target and what is beyond your target
  • Be sure to keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot
  • Set up with your back against a tree or over objects

Hunters are also encouraged to wear blaze orange or blaze pink when moving between hunting spots to make themselves more visible to other hunters. Hanging a blaze orange or pink vest or other material in a tree when you're done setting up helps alert other hunters of your presence.

A hunter's education class is required for all new hunters and is available in-person for free or online for free. Visit the DEC's website for more information or call 1-888-HUNT-ED2 (1-888-486-8332)

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