HUNTING: While out, it’s safety first

Saturday morning is the start of a favorite for many local residents — firearm deer season.

Many locals will be heading out into the woods to find that elusive buck or doe. But as they head out, we want to remind everyone to be safe.

Some basic reminders to those shooting guns:

1) Treat every gun as if it is loaded. Never point at anything you don’t intend to shoot.

2) Keep your gun pointed in a safe direction.

3) Keep your finger off the trigger.

4) Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

That fourth rule is especially important for those who are using riles. Rifles are permitted south of Route 20. But a bullet from a .30-.30 can travel up to 2 miles. Other rifles can shoot even farther.

Another important item is to be safe while using a tree stand. Hunters can easily get hurt climbing into unstable tree stands, or keeping their guns loaded while climbing into or out of them.

In 2015, there was not a single death statewide caused by an accidental shooting during hunting. Let’s hope that trend continues this deer season.