Small game season is afoot. And Provincial Police want to ensure your safety. As a result, property owners will see more and more people throughout the region in remote areas. The OPP are accustomed to getting phone calls about trespassers, lost or overdue people to more serious issues like the misuse of firearms. So they’ve provided some tips to deal with the overall safety of local hunters.
▪ Plan your hunting trip: whenever possible, hunt in those areas familiar to you, respecting private property and the rights of property owners at all times.
▪ Drive Safely! Whether on an ATV or in a pickup truck, operators must avoid aggressive or careless driving situations, by reducing their speed. Speed adversely affects your ability to respond to a sudden need to stop or turn to avoid a collision. This is particularly true in forested or low visibility driving situations.
▪ Do not drive while impaired under any circumstance. Do not get into a vehicle with a person you do not know or with anyone under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. Your safety depends on your consistent use of good judgment.
▪ Have a destination: frequently hunters leave the planning to the last minute. Know where you are going and leave details (destination, number of persons in your party, expected return time) with someone at home. These details are crucial so that if you do become stranded or overdue, the OPP can respond more effectively.
▪ Carry a cell phone, am/fm radio, a first aid kit, extra food and water and extra fuel. Hunters should plan for the unexpected so that they can tolerate an unexpected overnight stay in the woods or other unforeseen events.
▪ Treat your firearm as if it was loaded at all times. Proper storage and handling of a firearm is essential to having a safe hunting excursion. Know the persons in your party and hunt only with responsible persons who respect firearms and hunt ethically.
▪ Wear proper equipment: Blaze orange identifies you as a hunter to others at quite a distance for your safety. Dress for the elements as weather conditions change quickly and quite often for the worse without notice. Proper clothing will serve you well in these situations.
▪ If you are riding on an ATV or motorcycle – wear a proper helmet.
▪ If you are in a vessel, wear your life jacket. Emergent situations occur without warning and despite our best precautions.
▪ Report any suspicious activity of a criminal nature or unethical hunting practices to either the OPP at (1-888) 310-1122 or Crime Stoppers at (1-800) 268-8477 or your local MNR office.