RALEIGH — For many North Carolinians, hunting is as much a holiday tradition as carving the turkey and wrapping presents. With this in mind, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s Home From The Hunt™ campaign reminds anyone planning a hunting trip during the holiday season to make safety the top priority.
“Thanksgiving and Christmas are traditional times for family and friends to go hunting,” said Darrin Ball, the state’s southern mountain district hunter education coordinator. “With all the excitement surrounding the holidays, it’s important to make safety a big part of your planning.”
- Go back to basics — review hunter education training and equipment instructions.
- Know the rules — read all applicable regulations before going afield.
- Inspect all equipment — repair or replace equipment, especially tree stands, before use.
“A full-body safety harness is recommended anytime you use a tree stand,” Ball said. “Always maintain three points of contact when climbing up and down, and never carry anything as you climb.”
When hunting with a firearm, Ball advised:
- Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
- Treat your firearm as if it’s loaded at all times.
- Be certain of your target and what is beyond.
- Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
Blaze orange that is visible from all sides must be worn when hunting bear, feral hogs, deer, rabbit, squirrel, grouse, pheasant or quail with a firearm. Anyone hunting deer during a deer firearms season, regardless of whether a firearm or archery equipment is used, must wear hunter orange visible from all sides every day of the week, including Sundays.