DNR Stressing safety ahead of waterfowl opener

[anvplayer video=”5192837″ station=”998128″]

(ABC 6 News) – This weekend is big for hunters in Minnesota. It’s the waterfowl season opener on Saturday and the Minnesota DNR is urging everyone to have a safe hunt.

The DNR is urging safety now more than ever. Last year there were 13 hunting accidents and one fatality in Minnesota. And in 7 of the past 10 years there has been at least one fatality. Joe Albert with the Minnesota DNR says after a summer off of hunting, this is the time to start reminding people about the dangers.

“Especially you know safe firearm handling. For duck hunting make sure you know what you’re shooting at. Duck hunting people are going to stand up when you don’t expect it because birds are flying by. So, make sure you talk to the people in your party the people that you’re hunting with to see what the expectations are,” said Albert.

And since hunting takes place where there’s water, if you’re in boat, wear your life vest.

The DNR is also stressing the importance of hunting on familiar land. Albert says Minnesota has plenty of public land if you don’t already have your own.

“If you’re driving around and you see ducks don’t hesitate to find a plat map, see who owns that land and go find permission to go find private land. One caveat with that is make sure you know where you’re at and that you’re not trespassing and anytime you’re on private land that you have permission to be on there,” said Albert.

Albert says numbers for waterfowl hunters are down, but it’s still an important part of Minnesota tradition.

“It’s a great way to connect with nature and leave everything else behind in terms of computers and cell phones,” said Albert.

Don’t forget your license! (Click Here) for information on how to get one.