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Deer Gun Season Opens Saturday, Safety is Key

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 17 Nov 2011 06:51pm | comments
Hunters stock up on ammo

Thousands of Mississippi hunters will head into the woods tomorrow looking to hunt deer. Saturday is the first day hunters can use guns to hunt deer on public land. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports that hunting is a popular family activity but it can also be dangerous.

So far this year, the state has sold almost 570-thousand hunting and fishing licenses.

Among those thousands hunters dozens are injured or killed in hunting accidents.

Chad Dacus with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks says hunters need to be aware of their surroundings, practice gun safety and wear hunter orange.

"It is the law that if you are hunting during the deer gun season, you have to wear 500 square inches of hunter orange. However, we recommend people if they are going horseback, especially in a national forest, or any public lands during the hunting season, we highly recommend that those folks where the hunter orange also,"Dacus said.

Hunters between 16 and 65 years old must purchase a hunting license from the state...and anyone born after 1972 has to pass a safety course to obtain a license.

Guns and other weapons are clearly a threat but the majority of hunting related accidents involve falls from deer stands.

That is how Rodney Hubbard was injured while hunting with his son.

"I tore a muscle loose in my left arm and I had to have surgery. I didn't notice it until I had already stood up and looked around. It didn't hurt or nothing. I had actually landed across a limb with my back before I hit the ground and then got stuck in the back with another limb on the ground. There were more things than my arm that were hurting at the time," Hubbard said.

Hunters should examine their stands before using them and wear a safety harnesses that attaches to the tree and prevents a hunter from falling to the forest floor.

Lucas Little traps beavers in the pine forests of eastern Mississippi.

He says he takes all the same precautions as a hunter even though he is not looking for deer.

"Make sure what your surrounding is. Make sure you are not interfering with anyone else and putting yourself in the line of fire. (reporter: do you wear orange as well?) Oh, absolutely when you are in the woods," Little said.

Mississippi hunters have until December first to kill deer with firearms on public land.



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