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BREAKING NEWS

Daily News Editorial

By Staff | Sep 26, 2009

It’s the time of year when hunters start hitting the lakes and fields to get the one that got away last year. It’s also a good time to practice hunter safety.

Mandatory hunter education courses have been required for a few decades now. However, it doesn’t hurt to review a few of the basic hunting rules before taking the field.

First of all, every hunter should know where the muzzle of his or her gun is pointed all the time. Treat every gun as though it were loaded. That way, “accidents” are far less likely to happen.

A clean gun is a safe gun. Clean your gun after every hunt. Then visually inspect the barrel again just before you go hunting.

Always keep your various types of ammo separate. Every hear of someone putting a 20-gauge shell in a 12-gauge shotgun? Well, it happens a lot more than one could like to think. By keeping your ammo well sorted, you can avoid accidents that could result.

Also obey applicable laws for wearing hunter orange. And follow all state laws.

We also know how important it is too to ask permission before hunting someone else’s property. Don’t ruin a good hunting spot for someone else by trespassing. And be sure to close all gates when entering or leaving property.

It’s also important to realize the good things hunters do for the environment. They pay an annual habitat fee that buys land for wildlife. While some may criticize the DNR for buying up land with taxpayer dollars, it’s actually hunters who are paying for it through that habitat fee.

So the next time you see a deer, or raccoon or small game in the woods, thank a hunter. Because it was a hunter that made that wildlife area available.

And above all, here’s to a safe hunt.