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State advises hunters to practice safety

From left are State Police Lt. David Atkins, Maj. Christopher L. Cummings and Department of Environmental Conservation Capt. Frank Lauricella. Courtesy New York State Police

The New York State Police and Department of Environmental Conservation are reminding hunters to use basic hunter safety principles now that firearms hunting season is under way.

The season opened Saturday.

Tips include treating every gun as if it is loaded; making sure to always point the muzzle in a safe direction, away from people; keeping  fingers off the trigger until  ready to shoot; and being sure of your target and aware of what lies beyond.

Hunters are advised to wear bright orange hunting clothes; let family and friends know when and where they’ll be hunting and what time to expect them home; checking equipment, especially tree stands, for functionality; being aware of location; carry a compass, flashlight and cell phone in case they become lost; know your surroundings to avoid trespassing on other adjacent properties; and carry your hunting license and display your hunting tag.

“Hunting is a fantastic and fun outdoor activity,” said Troop A Commander, Maj. Christopher L Cummings. “It is each hunter’s responsibility to maintain the reputation and integrity of hunting as a safe and enjoyable sport.”