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DNR Urges Safe Practices As Hunters Prepare For Shotgun Deer Season Opener On Dec. 3

With the start of Iowa’s shotgun deer season only two weeks away, Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) staff is reminding hunters to begin preparing for their trips into the timber. An estimated 100,000 hunters are expected to participate in one of Iowa’s two primary shotgun seasons, the first of which opens on Dec. 3. DNR Hunter Education Administrator Jamie Cook says the first step is to determine a hunting plan ahead of time. This includes the hunt location, who is included in the hunting party, each member’s role, and when they plan to return home. Another critical factor is apparel, particularly high-visibility clothing. “Cook says, “Wear plenty of visible blaze orange. The more external blaze orange that’s worn, the better the chance that hunters will be seen in the timber. We’re not hiding from deer during the firearm seasons; we want to be seen by the other hunters.” Finally, he recommends hunters be familiar with their firearms. Confirm accuracy and function before the season starts and familiarize yourself with the ballistic characteristics of the ammunition you’ll use. Over the last three years, there have been an average of 10 hunting-related incidents per season, half involving personal injuries. Cook says, “Remember that we hunt with those we’re closest to, our family and friends. If there are any questions about taking a shot, don’t pull the trigger because once you pull the trigger, you can’t call the shot back. No deer is worth taking an unsafe shot.”

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