WINNIPEG — Deer hunting season comes with many risks to hunters and the Manitoba Wildlife Federation wants to ensure those who venture out into the wilderness are well prepared.
“Many of our MWF members are deer hunters and we want them to be extremely mindful of their own safety and the safety of others at all times,” said MWF president Brian Strauman.
“We stress hunter safety through all MWF programs including wearing proper orange clothing, respecting legal hunting hours, and safe gun handling at all times.”
Strauman reminds hunters that an orange garment and hat must be worn while hunting, dressing or retrieving a big game animal or by any person accompanying or assisting a person hunting big game.
Hunting and the discharge of any firearm is permitted only 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset for licenced hunters.
Rob Olson, MWF’s managing director, says the danger of spotlighting (night hunting) is it intersects with the beginning and end of the day as big game hunters often walk in and out of their hunting hides and blinds in the dark and can be mistaken for big game.
“We have cattle producers, outfitters, and farmers in our MWF network telling us that spotlighting is rampant and is a huge safety issue,” said Olson. “The MWF is concerned about safety, especially for those that live, work, hunt, fish, camp or hike in areas where spotlighters may be operating.”
Olson suggests hunters wear a flashing headlamp or other lit device when walking to and from their hunting spot in low light conditions.
“We urge all hunters — licensed, First Nation and Metis — to be sure they are as visible as possible at all times. Deer and moose don’t wear strobes.”