DNR stresses gun safety
With the opening Saturday of deer firearms season, hunters are encouraged to review safety rules and regulations before heading to the woods.
“Ultimately, each hunter is responsible for keeping themselves and others safe while pursuing deer this hunting season,” said Lt. Judd Smith of the Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.
“This includes respecting all firearms and being absolutely certain of their target.”
What the DNR calls its “Ten Commandments of Firearms Safety” are as follows:
1. Control the direction of the firearm’s muzzle. Keep the safety on and fingers off the trigger at all times until ready to shoot.
2. Identify the target and what is beyond it before shooting. Know the identifying features of the game hunted and be absolutely certain that what you are aiming at is that game.
3. Treat every firearm as if it is loaded.
4. Be sure the barrel and action are clear of obstructions and that only the proper size ammunition is used in the firearm.
5. Always unload a firearm when it is not in use, leave the actions open, and carry empty firearms in a case to and from shooting areas.
6. Never aim a firearm at anything that you do not intend to shoot. Avoid all horseplay with a firearm.
7. Never climb a tree or fence, or jump a ditch or log, with a loaded firearm. Never pull a firearm towards you by the muzzle.
8. Never shoot a bullet at a flat, hard surface or at water. Make sure backstops are adequate during target practice.
9. Store firearms and ammunition separately and beyond the reach of children and careless adults.
10. Avoid all alcoholic beverages and drugs before and during shooting.
For more information on firearms safety, contact the Wildlife Resources Division’s Hunter Education office at (770) 761-3010 or go online at www.gohuntgeorgia.com.
-From staff reports
The gunfire residents think they hear this weekend may be just that as Saturday marks the opening day of deer firearms season.
The season, perhaps the most popular in hunting, ends in January, according to the state Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division.
Hunters are limited to 12 deer per season statewide and those in Forsyth County may only use shotguns and muzzleloaders south of Hwy. 20.
Forsyth County 911 Director Pat Giordano said the agency receives an increase in calls during deer hunting season.
“It’s mostly because people are sighting their rifles and they fire several times to do this,” Giordano said.
“As far as the actual hunting itself, we do get some calls, but DNR usually gives us a schedule so we know when to expect the increase.”
Giordano said authorities are sent out to all calls regarding gunfire.
Forsyth County Sheriff’s Capt. Frank Huggins said residents should be cautious about going for walks in the woods during hunting season.
He said hunting is more likely in less-developed areas, especially in the northern part of the county.
“Deer are very adaptable and they can live in a small area and anywhere along the Chattahoochee River corridor,” he said. “If [residents] hear gunfire this weekend it may very well be because of someone deer hunting.”
Huggins said it is illegal to discharge firearms within 50 yards of a public road.
Also, according to state law, it is illegal to discharge firearms on someone else’s property without permission.