The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Editorials

September 22, 2013

Be successful, not a statistic | Hunting season opens soon – stay safe

JOHNSTOWN — We are blessed to live in an area teaming with wildlife. Pennsylvania is known for monster bucks. And soon, area hunters will descend to the great outdoors as deer season opens.

Fathers and mothers with the sons and daughters will keep traditions alive by going on the hunts together. Parents should enjoy these times together as a family. In spite of the naysayers, we believe hunting is not only a wholesome family tradition, but is good for managing the animal population.

With that in mind, we’d like to take a moment and review some safety tips as you venture out this year.

These safety points can be found on the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s home page.

-- Stay in the zone – know your zone of fire – that area where you can safely shoot at game and not endanger your partners. Never shoot at game moving between you and someone else.

-- Be seen – wear fluorescent orange clothing. Check your hunting regulations to determine specific amounts for each season.

-- Plan your hunt, and then hunt your plan – let someone know where you’re hunting and when you’ll return. Provide a detailed plan and stick to it.

-- Buckle up – if you hunt from an elevated stand, always wear a fall-restraint device whenever your feet leave the ground and until they return. A full-body harness is best. Don’t be the one who thinks falling will never happen to them.

-- Dress for success – layers of clothing that wick moisture, insulate and block wind or rain will keep you safe and comfortable all day.

-- Keep fit – hunting is hard work. Don’t become a statistic – stay physically fit and enjoy your outdoor experience. Start with a check-up and follow the doctor’s advice. Last year we reported several hunting related heart attacks, and we’d really not like to report any this season.

-- Do your homework – scout your hunting area and learn the habits of the game you hunt. Practice with your sporting arms to become a skilled and proficient shooter.

-- Stay found – become familiar with your hunting area. Learn how to use a map and compass or GPS unit.

-- Be prepared – anticipate problems and emergencies. Always carry a basic survival kit and know how to use it.

-- Safe hunting is no accident – follow all firearm-handling and safe hunting rules. Remember, guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

Two additional thoughts:

-- Be thankful you do not live in a surrender state, where your constitutional right to bear arms is tinkered with or severely limited.

-- Never forget you live –  in a nation where the right to bear arms is just that, a right!

Be safe, good luck and don’t forget to send The Tribune-Democrat some great shots of your successful hunts.

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