Think smart before you start this hunting season

The first snowflakes have landed across Wisconsin and with them, gun deer season lands on Nov. 19. Even if you’re not a hunter, there are plenty of fun, safe ways to enjoy the outdoors during hunting season.

Both hunters and non-hunters should keep a few things in mind as you venture outdoors this hunting season.

  • When recreating outside this time of year, take safety precautions. Wear bright orange, pink or other bright colors that stand out against the browns and greens of the woods. 
  • Share your travel plans with others. Write down where you’re going and when you expect to be back.
  • Wear layers that are breathable. When you start to get warm, remove a layer so you don’t get overheated. Brightly colored hats and vests can be visible even after you de-layer. 
  • Keep hydrated even in late fall and winter. Hot summer sun or not, our bodies still need to replenish fluids when we’re active.
  • Sticking to trails and open areas where you’re taller than grasses, bushes and foliage makes it more obvious to hunters that you’re a person and not the deer they’re hoping to see.  
  • Hiking during daylight hours helps increase your chances of being seen and identifiable as a person during hunting seasons. Dusk and dawn are times when deer tend to venture out more, so being off the trail by then reduces the chance of being mistaken for an animal as well. 
  • Hunters, make sure to do a safety check with all equipment, gear, vehicles and tools. Remember to treat every gun as if it’s a loaded gun and unload ammunition before getting in a vehicle.

Stay safe and have fun exploring the Wisconsin state park system.

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