ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Deer hunting season kicks off Friday, but before you head out the door, there are important safety tips the Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) wants you to know.
It’s not guns they’re worried about.
“There’s no question the hunting heritage is strong in the state of Illinois.”
For many, the family tradition spans generations.
“Me, my cousin, we go out to my grandpa’s place. He’s got some acres. We’ve hunted there for 27-years.”
Like many, Jesse Farley is gearing up for the start of the season; something he looked forward to all year.
“It’s just awesome watching animals living outside do what they do everyday. It’s an awesome experience.”
But, whether you’re a long-time pro or brand new, IDNR says you can’t take safety for granted; especially in your favorite hideout.
“They don’t normally look in trees for you, so when you get up high, you’re out of their view.”
That’s right: Trees. Last year, 23 of 29 reported hunting injuries were the result of people falling from them.
Even if your tree stand is secure, IDNR says you need to buy a harness to prevent a fall.
“Very scary. If you didn’t have a safety harness, you falling 30-feet out of the tree, that can be very dangerous.”
“You don’t want to be in one of those situations.”
Overall, hunting is safer than ever before. IDNR hopes tackling this last major problem reduces injuries even more.
“We want you to have a good time hunting, a good time with friends, a good time going to deer camp, but we want you to be safe when going out.”
Last year, one person died while hunting. Found at the bottom of the tree, the man wasn’t wearing a harness, but he may have died from natural causes.
Other tips include making sure you have a cellphone and you’re wearing an orange jacket; that’s state law. Most importantly, think before you shoot.
For more information, click here.