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Natural Resources Police: Take proper precautions to avoid hunting injuries

Delaware Public Media

Officials from Delaware's Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control are calling attention to proper hunting techniques and education.

Earlier this month, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police responded to a call regarding a man who shot himself in the foot while preparing for a deer hunt near Harrington.


Delaware’s Hunting Education Coordinator Mark Ostroski said this is the case with most hunting injuries — hunters wounding themselves. That’s why he said hunters need to use proper techniques.


The no. 1 hunting-related accident in Delaware is falling from a deer stand.


"You’ve got to remember when you go hunting - anytime you leave the ground, make sure you’re using a fall restraint system or a safety harness to make sure you’re going to stay in the tree if something were to happen," Ostroski said.
Another rule of safety is to keep the muzzle of a gun pointed in a safe direction — out of harm's way.


"If you were on the ground talking to someone up in a deer stand, you want that muzzle pointed up, but in some cases when you're talking to someone right in front of you, the muzzle pointed in the upward direction is sometimes the safest direction," Ostroski said.


He added a third tip is to always treat a firearm as if it were loaded.


Ostroski said Delaware has not seen a fatal hunting incident in over 20 years, but urges hunters to take necessary precautions to stay safe.


The state requires residents born after 1966 to complete a basic hunter education course before receiving a hunting permit.