Officials preach safety as archery deer season begins

Courtesy Photo An archer aims their bow down the shooting range to fire at a target.

ALPENA — As archery deer season begins on Sunday, archers and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources are asking any hunters participating to stay safe during the hunting window.

Mike Shaw, president of the Thunder Bay Bowmen Archery Club, said if any bowmen are hunting elevated, or in a tree stand, they should make sure to have falling restraints in case of any accidents.

“You want to be safe,” Shaw said. “I know guys who fell, hurt themselves and couldn’t walk for a while.”

Shaw loves deer hunting with a bow because of its challenge. He said staying within a range to fire and not catching the deer’s attention is fun.

September was also designated by the DNR as National Tree Stand Safety Awareness Month, so as a promotion for safety, the organization lists different things to remember as hunters set them up.

Things to remember include maintaining three points of contact when climbing up or down from a stand, wearing a full-body harness that is properly attached above your head, making sure a tree stand is stable and secure, and to use a haul line to get gear to and from the stand.

Three points of contact while climbing up or down a stand means keeping one hand and two feet or two hands and one foot on a surface to stabilize yourself with.

The DNR also reminds hunters to make sure the stand is labeled with the hunter’s name and address, driver’s license number, or their DNR Sportcard number if the stand is on public land.

If any deer are killed, hunters need to report it within 72 hours of the harvest at mdnr-elicense.com/harvestreport.

Currently, the DNR is actively looking at Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency, Presque Isle counties and more for deer infected with bovine tuberculosis.

According to the 2023 Michigan Hunting Regulations Summary, “Testing deer from these counties is critical to meeting our goals and managing the disease in deer and cattle. If you observe TB-like lesions in the chest cavity of any deer, the entire carcass should be submitted for testing.”


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