CAMDEN – Deer hunting season has arrived and those heading out into the woods in the hopes of bagging some venison are reminded to not let their emotions win out over common sense.
The biggest message I would say, is hunter safety,” said Dale Cashin, a Conservation Field Supervisor with the Department of Natural Resources.
“Wear hunger orange,”he advised, “and make sure you have your proper survival gear with you. It is mandatory when entering the woods for the purpose of hunting in Nova Scotia.”
That gear includes carrying a working compass, waterproof matches and some type of knife or hatchet. It is also very important to tell someone which area you plan to be hunting in and at least an approximate time for when you are planning to be coming out of the woods, Cashin said.
And while cellphones can serve as a lifeline should a hunter become lost, it is also important to ensure the battery is fully charged before heading out and to remember that there are many areas, especially in wooded, rural locales, where service is nonexistent.
Therefore, it would be very unfortunate if an individual got into an area and got into a situation where they needed help and they had no cell phone coverage to make that 911 call,”he said.
But should you become lost, it is very important not to panic and go stumbling in circles through the forest.
“We advise people to just hunker down and stay put. Stay in one spot, don’t try and track around too much,”Cashin said. And, if possible, make a shelter and fire to help stay warm.
Both the DNR and local police forces will be teaming up for public safety and to ensure hunting laws are being maintained.
Two of the most popular infractions that come with deer hunting, Cashin said, are hunters who fail to immediately tag the animal after it has been bagged and hunting too close to residential areas.
The minimum distance that a rifle can be legally discharged from a residence is 402 metres.
Cashin said both DNR and police rely heavily on the public for assistance and he encourages anyone who sees “something they are uncomfortable with”to report the activity by calling 1-800-565-2224.