Two fatal hunting accidents during the past week have Alabama Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) officials reminding hunters to practice safety at all times. The two incidents involved hunters who were not wearing the required hunter orange safety clothing and shooters who did not clearly identify their targets.

"Alabama law requires hunters to wear a minimum of 144 square inches of hunter orange during gun deer season," said Alabama Hunter Education Coordinator Marisa Futral. "This is equivalent in size to a baseball cap or hat," she said.

According to Futral, the most common hunting accidents in Alabama are falling from treestands, not identifying your target and self-inflicted incidents. Alabama has had nine non-fatal treestand accidents and one fatal treestand accident this hunting season. The state has also experienced 14 non-fatal firearms accidents and four fatal firearms accidents. "We want hunters to have a productive hunting season, but to do it with safety foremost in their minds. This includes following all rules, regulations and safety recommendations," she said.

Here are some additional safety rules ADCNR encourages hunters to follow:

  • Keep the firearm’s muzzle pointed in a safe direction at all times.
  • Treat every firearm as if it is loaded.
  • When hunting from a treestand, wear a full-body safety harness and keep it attached to the tree at all times, including when ascending and descending the tree.
  • Be sure of your target, what is in front of it and beyond it.
  • Keep your finger outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot.
  • Positively identify your target before shooting.
  • Use a small flashlight during dim light conditions to identify yourself as a human being.

    Alabama’s deer hunting season ends in most counties on January 31, but a small portion of southwest Alabama has an extended season that concludes on February 10.

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