DES MOINES, Iowa (KWQC) – The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is getting ready for the onslaught of hunters for the first of two shotgun deer seasons, which opens this weekend. The DNR estimates 75,000 hunters will head to the woods for the first round Dec. 3 – 7, 2016. Another 50,000 hunters are expected during the second season Dec. 10-18. It also holds the potential for danger. That’s why wearing solid blaze orange is mandatory. The minimum must cover a hunter’s torso, but the DNR says more is better.
Basic firearm rules are important for a safe hunt
The DNR says you should treat every firearm as though it were loaded; always point the muzzle in a safe direction; be sure of your target and what’s beyond it; keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
Hunters need to remember that it is illegal to discharge a firearm within 200 yards of a building inhabited by people or livestock or a feedlot unless the owner or tenant has given their consent. It is also illegal to discharge a shotgun shooting slugs or a pistol or revolver on or over a public roadway. Officials suggest hunters discuss the hunting plan with everyone in their group. It is also critical to communicate with your hunting partners and know where everyone is at all times.
In 2015, there were six deer hunting related incidents in Iowa during the two shotgun seasons. That includes five injuries and one involving damage to property.