Adair County game warden shares safety information for upcoming deer season
STILWELL – As the 2020-21 deer season kicks off in Oklahoma, Adair County Game Warden Jared Cramer shared tips to help keep hunters safe while in the woods.
Cramer encourages everyone to pick up a copy of the state’s annual hunting and fishing guide, which can be found for free at local Walmart stores and online at wildlifedepartment.com. Hunting rules and regulations can vary annually, so picking up a hunting and fishing guide and staying up to date on rule changes is beneficial to all Oklahoma hunters and fishers alike.
“We always want to stress firearm safety and general hunter safety to our hunters,” Cramer said. “We offer our hunter education courses in the fall, and it’s also available online at any time. The basics of our hunter education that we like to stress is firearm safety, that’s of the utmost importance, being sure of your target. Hunters mistaken as game is one of the big accidents that we have.”
Any hunters 31 years old or older are exempt from the hunter education requirements.
During all deer firearm seasons, hunters are required to wear daylight fluorescent orange. This includes muzzleloader season, youth rifle and regular rifle season, as well as the special holiday antler-less season.
“It’s required that they wear a head covering and also a garment above the waistline like a jacket or a vest, and the combination of those two need to total 400-square inches of hunter orange,” Cramer said.
Anyone who bow hunts during the gun seasons is only required to wear one of those garments, either the head covering or the garment above the waistline, but Cramer said it’s recommended that both be worn.
“Other things that we stress is tree stand safety. Tree stand accidents are on the rise, unfortunately, and it’s usually because folks are climbing up and down without a safety harness,” he said. “A lot of guys like to get up the tree stand and then attach their safety harness, but most falls actually occur when the person is going up or going down, so it’s very important to wear it the entire time.”
Oklahoma’s Wildlife Department has also made it easier to purchase licenses as well as keep up to date on events, hunting seasons and other information on the Go Outdoors Oklahoma app, which is available on all app platforms.
Cramer said hunters are now allowed to have a digital copy of their hunting licenses on their phones instead of the paper copies, but the law still requires a hunter to show proof of your license on your person.
“A person can have the app on their phone and can pull it up and show it if they get inspected for a license. What I recommend is a person just take a screen shot of the license, then it’s there whether or not you have cell phone service,” he said.