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Hunting Safety

Hunt what’s in season

Shooting near electrical equipment can be costly and deadly

 

Hunting season brings outdoorsmen of all skill levels and experience into rural Indiana, often to unfamiliar areas. While most hunters follow safe hunting practices, Indiana’s electric cooperatives remind all those afield to be mindful of their surroundings and to be aware of  electric power lines and equipment in the air and electrical equipment on the ground.

 

“Skilled hunters understand the potential hazards of discharging a firearm and would never shoot blindly toward electric infrastructure,” said Brandon Linville, Director of Operations at Southeastern Indiana REMC. “But there have been instances over the years of accidental damage and intentional vandalism to some power poles and hardware.”

 

Electrical equipment damaged by gunshot is costly to the utility and to customers relying on that power. The damage can even spark a fire.

 

Southeastern Indiana REMC encourages all hunters and gun owners to be aware of electrical equipment in their surroundings while enjoying the great outdoors. Here are things to keep in mind:

  • Never shoot near or toward overhead power lines, power poles or substations. A stray bullet can cause damage to equipment. Sometimes the damage, such as to an insulator, isn’t noticed until it rains. Then it can cause an outage or a fire.
  • Familiarize yourself with the location of power lines and equipment on land where you are hunting. Landowners are encouraged to remind those hunting on their property to be aware of power lines and other electrical equipment.
  • Damage to the conductor can happen, possibly dropping a line from its perch. If it’s dry and the electricity goes to ground, there is the possibility of electrocution and fire.
  • Be especially careful in wooded areas where power lines may not be as visible.
  • Take notice of warning signs and keep clear of electrical equipment.
  • Do not use utility poles or towers to support equipment used in your hunting activity or for supporting deer stands. Energized lines and equipment on the poles can conduct electricity to anyone who comes in contact with them, causing shock or electrocution.

 

“We want everyone to enjoy the great outdoors and all rural Indiana has to offer,” noted Linville. “Electrical equipment can be found even in remote areas and is sometimes hard to see. Please just be aware of what’s out there.”

 


Electrical safety tips for hunters

This hunting season, electric cooperatives encourage all consumers to be aware of electrical equipment and take necessary precautions while hunting:

  • Take notice of posted warning signs and keep clear of electrical equipment.
  • Do not shoot at or near power lines or insulators.
  • Know where power lines and equipment are located on the land where you hunt.
  • Be especially careful in wooded areas where power lines may not be as visible.
  • Do not place deer stands on utility poles or climb poles. Energized lines and equipment can conduct electricity to anyone who comes in contact with them, causing shock or electrocution.
  • Do not place decoys on power lines or other utility equipment. Any non-electrical equipment attached to a pole can pose an obstruction and serious hazards to our line crews.

 

Source: NRECA


General tips hunters should keep in mind

It is not only important for hunters to adhere to electrical safety rules, but it is also very important follow basic hunters’ safety rules. Here are a few to keep in mind:

  • Always carry these emergency items: first aid kit, cell phone, whistle and flashlight.
  • Tell someone where you will be hunting and what time you plan to return.
  • Familiarize yourself with the area you want to hunt.
  • Wear appropriate clothing: enhance your visibility to other hunters by wearing brightly colored apparel, pack sufficient clothing to be prepared for weather changes, and dress in layers.
  • Always be alert when hunting near developed areas and trails since other recreationalists are also in the wooded areas. Unless you are 100 percent sure what you're shooting at, never take the shot.
  • Tree stands are the leading cause of hunting injuries. If you use one, make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions and inspect the stand for wear before use. Wear a full body harness.
  • Obtain permission from landowners if hunting on private land.
  • If you're using a portable electric generator on your hunting trip, make sure you do not run it in a confined area like a cabin or RV. Make sure it's used outside where there is plenty of ventilation.

 

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