Have a great opening day and be safe out there

In just a few days, the firearm deer season opens throughout the state of Michigan.

This is an exciting time of year, to be sure. We hope that with all the excitement, family tradition and good ol’ outdoor sporting thrill, everyone will come back healthy, happy and whole.

Over the past couple years there have been no reported hunting deaths in Michigan (as in zero.) In April of this year, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources reported:

“For the second year in a row, Michigan recorded no fatalities in 2015 during all hunting seasons, according to reports compiled by the Department of Natural Resources’ Law Enforcement Division. Thirteen incidents resulting in injuries were recorded in the state during the year, up slightly from 10 incidents in 2014. Twelve incidents occurred in the Lower Peninsula and one in the Upper Peninsula.

“This is part of an overall trend toward fewer hunting-related fatalities and injuries over the past several decades, a downward trend that started in 1988, when completion of a hunter education class became mandatory for all first-time hunters born after Jan. 1, 1960.”

Hunters’ education has been a great thing.

In addition to formal classes, the passing on of hunter safety awareness tips, advice and traditions from grandparents, to mom and dad, and then to young hunters is so vitally important.

Just as the fun and fellowship of deer camp can become a real part of a family history, so too a well rounded discipline while in the field and tucked away in a blind can and should be a traditional part of the hunting season.

Please be part of the continuing trend of no hunter deaths and contribute to a future legacy of no hunter injuries in the state of Michigan. Please pass on and encourage hunting awareness and hunter safety among all those heading out early opening day and in weeks to follow — adults and young people alike.

We would much rather write about and photograph your big buck, than be called on to report your hunting tragedy.

Have a great opening day. Bring in a big buck with an impressive rack. And please be careful and alert out in the field.

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