FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- As the hunting season continues, Fort Rucker officials want everyone who chooses to hunt on-or off-post to put their safety ahead of getting the best game.

One of the primary concerns Directorate of Public Safety officials want hunters to be mindful of is making sure they don't get lost while hunting.

"Always take a good compass with you and know how to use it before you enter the woods," said Maj. Jay Massey, DPS deputy provost marshal. "A (global positioning system) is another good tool to have. They are small and fit into a hip pocket. However, as with any piece of technology, make sure you test its ability to work in your hunting area before you hunt."

It's also important to let someone know where you will be hunting before you go, Massey added.

"Take an additional copy of your Fort Rucker installation map with you on your hunt," said Massey. "On one of the maps, circle the area where your deer hunting stand is located. Leave a copy in your vehicle. If you do get lost while hunting, responding patrolmen will have an idea of where you can be found."

Another way to prevent getting lost is to carry a cell phone, Massey said. It can be a lifeline in case a hunter finds him or herself in an emergency situation.

A chemlight, a flashlight and a whistle can be helpful if you find yourself lost during hours of limited visibility, Massey added. Having these items with you will assist responding patrolmen while attempting to locate your position.

According to a recent update to Fort Rucker regulation 215-1, all hunters using a climbing tree stand must now use a safety harness while climbing, said Karen Key, Outdoor Recreation assistant. Hunters using firearms must also take extra precaution when moving through hunting areas.

"They should keep the safety on until they are set in one spot and they should only point the muzzle at something they intend to shoot," she said. "Hunters should always be thinking about weapon safety and handle the firearm with care."

Hunters should also be aware that transportation of a loaded firearm on post is prohibited, according to Fort Rucker regulation 215-1. The regulation also states, during the entire firearm deer season, all individuals using training areas, including bow hunters, must wear vests or jackets and headgear of hunter orange.

All hunters must have their state license, Fort Rucker permit, hunter education card and picture identification card at all times.

For more information, call DPS at 255-2222 or Outdoor Recreation at 255-4305.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16