DNR Offers Safety Tips Before Hunters Head Into the Woods
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources is urging hunters to familiarize themselves with regulations and safety tips before heading into the woods this hunting season.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division is urging hunters to make sure to educate themselves before heading into the woods when deer season arrives. The DNR offers three ways to help with this, by classroom, CD course or online.
“Because of the importance of the information learned in a hunter education course, our agency has made efforts to meet the needs of many users,” Walter Lane, Wildlife Resources Division hunter development program manager, said in a press release. “The online and CD courses offer more scheduling flexibility as they can be done at any time of day. And for those who prefer a traditional method, the classroom courses provide a face-to-face opportunity with instructors.”
There is no charge for the classroom or CD course, but the free online courses carry a fee that ranges from $9.95 to $24.95). All, however, are “pass or don’t pay” courses. The fee is charged and collected by the course developer. According to the press release, completion of a hunter education course is required for any person born on or after January 1, 1961, who:
- purchases a season hunting license in Georgia.
- is at least 12 years old and hunts without adult supervision
- hunts big game (deer, turkey, bear) on a Wildlife Management Area.
The only exceptions include any person who:
- purchases a short-term hunting license, such as the Apprentice License or the 3-day Hunting and Fishing Combo License (as opposed to a season license).
- is hunting on his or her own land, or that of his or her parents or legal guardians.
Hunters are also encouraged to review tree stand safety as they are often improperly installed and are a leading cause of hunting-related
incidents, according to the DNR. Officials note that not all stands are the same and hunters should be familiar with the particular one they use. The DNR recommends the following safety tips.
- When using a non-climbing portable or ladder stand, hunters should securely fasten the stand to the tree and install ladders or steps according to the manufacturer’s directions.
- Hunters should ALWAYS wear a Fall-Arrest System (FAS)/Full Body Harness during ascent and descent. Be aware that single strap belts and chest harnesses are no longer recommended and should not be used. Failure to use a FAS could result in serious injury or death.
- Hunters should ALWAYS attach their FAS in the manner described by the manufacturer. Failure to do so may result in suspension without the ability to recover into the tree stand. Be aware of the hazards associated with full body harnesses and the fact that prolonged suspension in a harness may also be fatal.
- Have in place a plan for rescue, including the use of cell phones or signal devices that may be easily reached and used while suspended. If rescue personnel cannot be notified, you must have an alternate plan for recovery or escape. If you have to hang suspended for a period of time before help arrives, exercise your legs by pushing against the tree or doing any other form of continuous motion or use your suspension relief device.
- Consider your personal physical condition before going out. If you do not have the ability to recover or escape from a FAS, it is recommended that you hunt only from the ground.
- Hunters should ALWAYS use a haul line to pull their gear and unloaded firearm or bow into their tree stand. Never climb with anything in your hands or on your back. Prior to descending, lower equipment to the ground on the opposite side of the tree.
- Staying awake and alert is important. Hunters should avoid taking medications that cause drowsiness prior to hunting. Also, never use alcohol or drugs before or while hunting.
- Hunters should always inform someone of where they are hunting and what time they expect to return.