DNR Offers Hunting Safety Reminders After Tragic Start to Firearm Deer Season

Accidents have cast a shadow over the Michigan woods this fall.

In the span of days, several hunting accidents turned tragic in northern Michigan.

The start of firearm deer season in Michigan came with several tragic accidents.

In Crawford County, two children were hurt when a gun accidentally went off.

In Ionia County, a man was accidentally shot when his brother says he mistook him for a deer.

Lt. James Gorno with the DNR Law Enforcement Division says there are several things hunters must remember with the start of firearm deer season.

“You can’t just shoot at movement. You have to identify your target. Example, deer hunting, identify that it’s a buck and that you’re going to kill it. Make sure your muzzle and the barrel of your gun is pointed in a safe direction, usually on the ground away from cars and people and that’s where we want people to load their weapon,” said Gorno.

Another tragedy on the water left a hunter dead when he drowned on the Pere Marquette River in Mason County.

Some duck hunters also had trouble earlier in the week on the water in Grand Traverse County.

“Life jackets, personal flotation devices, make sure your weapon is unloaded in motor boat when you’re operating a motor boat,” said Gorno.

Hunters like Ryan Schultz say taking these steps keep everyone in and around the woods and water safe.

“It’s not just your safety it’s everyone’s safety that you’re with, it’s people who are walking their dogs out on the road it’s your neighbor who maybe shot a deer and is now out in the woods and just being aware of your surroundings,” said Schultz.