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Law enforcement stressing safety after tragic start to hunting season

After the past weekend's tragic start, law enforcement is stressing hunter safety to prevent more accidents from happening.

Posted: Nov 18, 2019 6:32 PM
Updated: Nov 18, 2019 6:33 PM

ORISKANY, N.Y --- After the past weekend's tragic start, law enforcement is stressing hunter safety to prevent more accidents from happening.

2018 was reported as one of the safest years for hunting on record.

Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol said that even the most seasoned hunters forget some of the basic safety rules.

"Things that we would like to remind hunters about is safety with their weapon. Certainly, we wanna make sure that anyone out hunting is familiar with their weapon and they know how to use it," said Maciol.

There are a number of different types of ammunition that hunters use for deer hunting. Many of them can travel up to or farther than one mile. The Sheriff said because of the distance those bullets can travel hunters should be conscious of where they are shooting.

"When you are ready to fire that weapon at your target. You need to know certainly what's between you and the target but what's also beyond the target," said Maciol.

Tree stands can also pose some safety concerns. The DEC reported that last year there were five reported injuries due to tree stands none of which were fatal.

The Sheriff also encourages hunters to travel in groups when possible. The Sheriff said that hunters should not go into the woods alone and that in groups, hunters can better help one another if something goes wrong. But Maciol said that even in groups accidents can still happen.

"Again you want to make sure you know where you're hunting. You wanna know where your people are going to be positioned as compared to where you are," said Maciol.

Hunters should also wear as much hunter orange as possible. The Sheriff said that many people say orange makes hunters more visible to deer. The Sheriff said that it's actually the opposite, referencing a DEC study that proves deer cannot see hunter orange.

"You could be wearing as much bright orange or bright pink as you want and that deer or bear is not going to see that," said Maciol.

Tips the sheriff hopes hunters will go by after this year's tragic start.

"This is just the beginning of the season, and we hope that with us continuing to get the message out and with hunter safety class continuing all the time, we hope that we can have a year where we don't have any incidents but like I said, unfortunately, we are off to a difficult start already,"said Maciol

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