Safety needs to number one in hunter's mind

Safety needs to number one in hunter's mind
By: Arnold Wyrick
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is expecting some 200,000 hunters in Illinois' woods this weekend.  Friday morning kicked off the first firearm deer hunt this season.
But conservation officers want hunters to be aware of what's going on around them when they're in the woods.
"Just keep in mind the methamphetamine problem we have here in Southern Illinois.  And if they see anything, or find anything suspicious to please call their local law enforcement agency," says I.D.N.R. Officer Kris Taylor.
And while hunters are looking for those beady eyes, or rack moving through the brush.  Taylor and his fellow officers are going to be looking for your paperwork.
"Everybody needs to have their permit with them first and foremost, along with their hunting license, and their firearms owner identification card.  And they need to have their guns properly plugged so that they can not old more then three shells," Officer Taylor said.
All hunters must wear at least 400 square inches of blaze orange, it cannot be camouflage orange.
"You have to be aware of other hunters.  And I think anybody in the woods should have blaze orange on, it's so easy to see in the woods.  When we we're out riding earlier today there were some hunters further up on the hill," says Richard Garretson of Mount Vernon.
And making a few simple rules before you head off into the woods in search of that trophy buck, can help ensure everyone is safe.
"There's one thing that's rock solid, it'll cause you trouble if you violate it.  And that is when you come into deer camp unload and rack your gun.  If anyone is caught walking around camp with a loaded gun, you'll be in trouble in a hurry," says Don Musick of Mount Vernon.
Hunters also need to be aware of where they're hunting to make sure that they're not trespassing on private land.
"People need to realize if they had permission in the past, that they need to make sure they have permission this year," Officer Taylor said.
And hunters remember you have until 10 o'clock in the evening, of the day of your kill to call it into the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.