Doctors, Georgia DNR share hunting season safety tips

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)— If you’ve ever been hunting, you know there’s a lot to consider in order to stay safe.

I.B. Parnell is a Wildlife Biologist with the Wildlife Resources Division for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. He says the state requires people to go through an education course before hunting. Parnell shares tips on how to stay safe while hunting.

“It is required that you wear 500 square inches of hunter orange above the waist, that’s usually in a vest form. We don’t have any orange hat requirement but you can wear it in addition to your vest,” he explained.

Dr. John Wood, Emergency Center Medical Director at Atrium Health Navicent, says most hunting injuries are from people falling out of tree stands. He adds, firearm injuries can happen too.

“You obviously want to use firearm safety anytime you’re in the woods or using a firearm and then be careful when you’re up in tree stands. We see people fall from those tree stands so there are safety belts to keep you from falling out of those,” Dr. Wood said.

According to Parnell, most hunting in Georgia is self-service which means wildlife management doesn’t have personnel on-site. He says if something goes wrong, call 911 if you have cell service. There are other options though if case your cell phone doesn’t work.

“I would definitely let your friends know where you’re hunting if you’re hunting with other people that you know. Having a GPS unit with you is sometimes handy as compared to having a cell phone. Although the GPS unit only logs your location,” he said. “It doesn’t give you any communication capability.”

Dr. Wood says wearing reflective clothing and knowing who you’re hunting with can help prevent firearm accidents.

“Obviously you don’t want to fire towards homes, crowds of people, or where your camp might be,” he said. “Because you don’t know how far your bullet can go.”

You can find information on hunting regulations, seasons and dates on the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division Website.

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