The first of Iowa’s two shotgun deer hunting seasons began this (Saturday) morning.
Safety is one main reason why Department of Natural Resources spokesman Alan Foster says the season is divided up into two sections and various hunting weapon categories. There are a lot of different ways to hunt, with shotgun and muzzle-loaders, and Foster says to have each kind of hunter out in the field with their own kind they split up the seasons.
Dividing it up is also a safety issue, as he says they don’t want 300,000 people out in the field all on the same opening weekend. “It kind of divvies up the concentration of hunters, so we get X number out during the shotgun season one, another X number out during shotgun season two, and then a handful more out during these other seasons,” he says.
Rangers and hunter educators try and impress upon hunters the importance of firearm safety, but Foster says it’s hard to predict if it will be a safe season, or just what will pose the greatest danger. He says for whatever reason, some years there are a high number of accidents, and sometimes it goes safely. This year during the bow-hunting season several people were injured in falls from tree stands, one was paralyzed and one was killed, but he notes some years you don’t hear of any serious injuries.
In addition to wearing blaze orange and carrying guns safely, Foster says hunters should dress for the bone-chilling weather — dressing in layers so if you’re walking and you get hot you can take some off before you get all sweaty, and if you’ll be spending hours waiting in a tree stand be sure to have enough protection to keep your body and your feet warm so you can stay out there and remain comfortable.
The current shotgun season runs through Wednesday, and the second for this year runs from December 9 through the 17th.
Related web sites:
Iowa DNR Hunting Seasons