It’s deep into hunting season for deer here in Michigan so I want to give some tips for hunters. They come from when I was a firearms instructor way back in the 1970s.

  • First of all, be in good physical condition before you go into the cold woods. Heart attacks in the woods can come on from being cold and over exertion. Begin exercising at least six weeks before hunting season by going for brisk walks to get your muscles, lungs and heart in good condition. Remember dragging that 12 point buck to the truck can be tiring. If you are over 40, have a physical before hunting. You and your hunting partners should know first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) before going hunting.

  • Let family members know where you are going hunting and when you plan to return.

  • Have communication equipment such as your cell phone, a CB radio, or "walkie-talkie".

  • Check your equipment. Is it in top working order? Are your guns working and are they clean? Do the safety locks work? Is the heater for your tent or cabin working correctly? Carbon monoxide kills hunters every year.

  • Be awake and alcohol free when driving your car or truck and from the hunting site. Car and truck accidents are the leading cause of death for hunters going and coming from hunting.

  • Be a safe hunter.Be the hunter - not the target.Wear Hunter ORANGE - not camouflage.Know your target - shoot only when you see the deer.

  • Have your gun loaded only when you are at the hunting site. Climb fences with an unloaded gun with its safety lock on. Don’t climb with the gun. Give it to a friend or put it under or over the fence to pick up after you are safely over.Many people have been mortally wounded when a gun shot them as it fell over at a fence.