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DEP Offers Fall Outdoor Safety Tips
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:46 pm    Post subject: DEP Offers Fall Outdoor Safety Tips Reply with quote

October 2, 2008

DEP Offers Fall Outdoor Safety Tips

The Department of Environmental Protection issued a safety reminder today for all outdoor enthusiasts, including hunters and non-hunters alike.

"We are approaching the peak time of year for a variety of hunting activities in Connecticut," said Dale May, Director of the DEP Wildlife Division. "This is also a popular time for others to enjoy the many outdoor opportunities that our state has to offer, including hiking, biking, and paddling.

It is especially important for all outdoor users to respect the rights of others and be aware of all activities that may be occurring outdoors. Connecticut hunters have an excellent safety record and awareness on the part of non-hunters can help in our efforts to keep hunting safe for everyone."

Whether you like to hike, camp, horseback ride, mountain bike, hunt, or fish, it is a good idea to observe a few safety precautions while outdoors.

Basic SAFETY TIPS all outdoor users should follow include:

* When you use the outdoors, let someone know where you plan to be and when you will return;
* Familiarize yourself with the area you will be using and know the activities that occur there;
* Obtain landowner permission before accessing private land;
* Wear brightly-colored clothing;
* Avoid wearing gray, brown, tan, or white when hiking in or near hunting areas;
* Consider using a bell on your bike or horse during hunting season;
* If you see someone hunting, call out to them to make them aware of your location;
* Report wildlife or hunting violations to the DEP Environmental Conservation (EnCon) Police at (860) 424-3333. You may also use the Wildlife Violation Hotline at 1-800-842-HELP, where callers can choose to remain anonymous and receive cash rewards for information leading to arrest and conviction of the violator.

Hunters should also follow three basic, but important, rules:

* 1. Treat every firearm as if it were loaded.
* 2. Always keep the muzzle of your firearm pointed in a safe direction.
* 3. Always be sure of your target and what is beyond it before pulling the trigger.

Sportsmen must also observe the fluorescent orange clothing requirements, which specify that a total of 400 square inches be worn above the waist and be visible from all sides from September 1 through the last day in February. Some exceptions do apply; they are listed in the 2008 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide.

Hunting Activities: Hunters must obtain landowner permission before hunting on private land. Hunting on public lands is allowed on most state forests and wildlife management areas and on some state parks. Detailed information about hunting seasons, public hunting areas, laws, and regulations are available in the 2008 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide available at all town halls, license agents, and on the DEP website www.ct.gov/dep.

In general, peak hunting occurs during early morning and late afternoon, primarily during the period from mid-October through mid-December. The general firearms hunting season for deer begins on November 19 this year.

Want to Learn More? Take a Conservation Education/Firearms Safety Course

The DEP offers a free, comprehensive Conservation Education/Firearms Safety (CE/FS) course for those who want to learn more about outdoor safety, hunting and wildlife management. All first time firearms hunters in Connecticut are required to successfully complete the 16-hour CE/FS class offered by the DEP Wildlife Division. A dedicated core of more than 300 certified volunteer instructors teach the classes, which are offered free-of-charge throughout the year. In addition to firearms safety, laws, and regulations, all courses include topics such as outdoor survival and first aid, wildlife management, wildlife identification, and hunter ethics and responsibility. Some of the CE/FS firearms courses are also offered in a home study/internet format that includes an eight hour field day. There are separate classes offered on bowhunting and trapping. For a listing of available classes, visit the DEP website at www.ct.gov/dep and click on Education.
Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection

Captain Raul Camejo
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