11/16/12 Indiana Conservation Officers are excited about the upcoming deer firearms season and working with ethical hunters who will be taking to the woods this weekend.   Deer hunters will be enjoying cooler temperatures and clear skies to help manage Indiana’s deer herd numbers as well as providing thousands of pounds of meat to help feed the hungry.  The firearms season runs from this Saturday through Sunday, December 2nd.

Officers want to remind hunters to wear their required hunter orange garments as well as equipping their ground blinds with one square foot of hunter orange on all sides as required this year for the first time.  A ground blind is required to have the hunter orange displayed while occupied and if it’s base is four feet or less from the ground.

Conservation Officers also want to remind hunters to positively identify their target, and take caution when hunting from elevated stands.  Falls from tree stands are the number one hunting accident recorded yearly.  Hunters should wear a fall restraint system at all times when hunting from an elevated tree stand.  Conservation Officers also recommend that hunters take a cell phone with them and tell somebody where you will be on your hunt and when to expect you home.  Deer hunting is increasingly becoming a family affair as parents and their children share the experience of managing Indiana’s resources.  Officers encourage ethical hunting this fall as you take to the woods and waters of the state.

Motorists are encouraged to be especially aware for the next several weeks as deer will be crossing the roadways in increasing numbers due to the breeding season in November and December.  Motorists should not swerve aggressively to avoid a collision with a deer as this more often than not leads to more severe injuries and property damage than colliding with the deer.

Hunters wishing to donate legally harvested deer as well as citizens looking for meat to help feed their families can visit http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/7240.htm to take part in the GiveIN Game Program.  This is a free exchange of deer meat from the successful hunter to the family in need of the resource.

If a suspected violation is witnessed, concerned citizens
and hunters may call 1-800-TIP-IDNR to report the violation anonymously.  Indiana Conservation Officers dispatch is open 24/7 and may be reached at 1.812.837.9536.  You may also visit the DNR website to locate your local district Conservation Officers office number.