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Game Warden Stresses Safe Hunting

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Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (CC-BY-ND)
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A hunter unloading a gun accidentally shot his 56-year-old companion in the Brown's Gulch area north of Butte last weekend.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks game warden Sergeant Aaron Berg says a lot of people are now in the backcountry carrying high-powered rifles. Meaning everyone, hunting or not, should wear that bright hunter orange; 400 square inches of it to be exact.

Berg adds that those carrying rifles have the responsibility to use them properly.

"Just remind yourself, 'Hey, where is this muzzle pointed?'"  Berg said. "Always treat your gun as if it were loaded. Always be sure of your target and beyond; definitely not having muzzles of guns pointed at anybody, in any direction, because accidents do happen even when you're loading and unloading firearms. Even if you don't pull the trigger sometimes those rounds can go off, so you want to be careful about that."

Berg reminds hunters that weather can be very unpredictable this time of year. A warm autumn day can quickly turn nasty.

"Hypothermia can be an issue," says Berg. "It might be 40 degrees in the part of the day you start hunting and by the end of the day it might be below freezing and snowing, so you definitely want to make sure and be careful with the weather and watch out for hypothermia this time of year and not get caught in any situation."

Mineral Community Hospital nursing director Ray Fredette says hunting is a way of life in the Superior area.

"So there are no special precautions that we take here in our emergency department," said Fredette. "The emergency response team is adequately prepared, again just as this is part of everyday life out here."

General rifle hunting season for elk and deer opened on Saturday, October 25th.

Edward O'Brien is Montana Public Radio's Associate News Director.
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