Hunting and fall fishing are upon us, and there are more and more people in the woods as well as on the water. I ask that you continue to hunt and fish responsibly and remember these basic safety tips:
• Treat every firearm as if it is loaded and point it in a safe direction at all times.
• Be certain of your target and what's beyond it. If you have a doubt of what's beyond the target, don't shoot.
• Always let someone know where you are hunting and when you plan on returning. Remember, it's not only easy to get turned around in the woods and lost but it is possible that you may need help, and someone needs to know where you are.
• Control your emotions while hunting or shooting. When you get tunnel vision is usually the time someone gets hurt.
• Some areas in Crow Wing County have explicit restrictions on where you can and cannot hunt. For example, some places are not open to hunting with a firearm but allow bow hunting. It is your responsibility as a hunter to know the laws on where you should and should not be.
• Obey all no trespassing and no hunting signs. These are placed in that area for a reason and I, along with other law enforcement officers, would ask that you abide by these requests.
Walleye fishing as well as fishing for the illusive pan fish is awesome in the fall and something I truly enjoy. However, with colder air temperatures comes colder water temperatures and we should keep this in mind as we set out.
Remember personal floatation devices that are required in your boat. It doesn't do anyone any good if a PFD is floating away from you in the event of a overturned boat. Keep this on as they make these extremely comfortable and user-friendly to keep you afloat. Hypothermia literally sets in within seconds in which you lose function of your legs, feet and hands and eventually go under the water.
TODD DAHL is the Crow Wing County sheriff.
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