State officials urge hunting safety

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — State officials are urging hunters to make safety a top priority this hunting season.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says the seven-day firearm deer season includes dates in November and December. The opening day is Nov. 16.

The agency's safety tips include always being aware of surroundings and knowing what is beyond the target.

State officials say there were 26 hunting incidents last year and one was fatal. There have been six incidents so far this year.

Not all incidents involved weapons. More than a dozen last year were falls from tree stands. State officials are reminding hunters to use full body safety harnesses.

State estimates show deer hunters took home 97,760 deer during the seven-day season last year. That's slightly down from 2010 when it was 98,944.

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