Forest Service urges safety for hunting season
VERMONT- With rifle season fast approaching, Forest Service officials on the Green Mountain National Forest are encouraging the public to use caution and to be visible and mindful of their surroundings in the coming weeks. Saturday, November 12, marks the opening day of the white-tailed deer rifle hunt in Vermont, a lifelong tradition for many Vermonters.
Officials want to remind hunters and other forest users that almost the entire 400,000-plus acre National Forest is open for hunting, the only exceptions are developed recreation sites such as campgrounds and day use areas or any areas that would be in violation of state laws.
Here are some safety tips for hunters that may be planning to hunt on the GMNF:
Clearly identify your target before shooting to prevent accidents or fatalities. Fire only at clearly identified wildlife and know what is beyond your target.
Be alert when hunting near developed areas and trails. Other recreationists are in the forest as well.
Check weather reports before visiting the forest -- dress properly and be prepared for the worst possible conditions.
Tell someone where you will be hunting and when you will return -- be familiar with the area that you are hunting.
Wear blaze orange and try to be visible from all directions.
Check hunting equipment before and after each outing and maintain it properly. Familiarize yourself with the operation of your firearm before using it in the field.
Carry a spare set of dry clothes. Use layering techniques to prevent moisture retention, while maintaining body warmth.
Always bring waterproof gear.
Have a first aid kit, flashlight, cell phone, food, and water in case of an emergency.
Hunters should be cognizant of other forest users. The forest is open to all other lawful uses including mountain biking, hiking, and horseback riding. Non-hunters who plan to use the National Forest during hunting season should also be cognizant of hunters using the same locations they may be utilizing. The Forest Service recommends wearing blaze orange while hunting seasons are running concurrent with your visit. If recreating with household animals such as a dog, officials suggest that they are visible and remain on a leash.
For more information about hunting visit usda.gov. For additional information on Vermont hunting regulations, please visit: https://vtfishandwildlife.com