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Indiana conservation officers: Firearms safety is no accident
Spaulding Outdoors
By Jack Spaulding

Indiana opened its deer muzzleloader season on Saturday, December 9. As Indiana State Conservation Officers prepare for another busy hunting season, they offer the following safety tips to prevent hunting accidents.

•Treat every firearm with the same respect due a loaded firearm.

•Control the direction of your firearm’s muzzle. Carry your firearm safely keeping the safety on until ready to shoot. Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.

•Identify your target and what’s beyond it. Know the identifying features of the game you hunt.

•Be sure the barrel and action are clear of obstructions and that you have only ammunition of the proper size for the firearms you are carrying.

•Unload firearms when not in use. Leave the actions open. Firearms should be carried unloaded when traveling to and from shooting areas.

•Never point a firearm at anything you do not want to shoot. Avoid all horseplay with a firearm.

•Never climb a fence or tree, jump a ditch or log, with a loaded firearm. Never pull a firearm toward you by the muzzle.

•Never shoot a bullet at a flat, hard surface or water. During target practice, be sure your backstop is adequate.

•Store firearms and ammunition separately beyond the reach of children and careless adults.

•Avoid alcoholic beverages or other mood-altering drugs before or while hunting or shooting.

“These tips form a basic foundation for good firearms safety,” said public information officer J.P. Salb. “When hunter’s practice these tips, they increase their chances significantly for an accident free hunt.”

In addition, Salb encourages hunters using elevated stands or platforms to make sure they use a safety harness to protect themselves in case of a fall. Falls from elevated stands or platforms have, in years past, been the Number 1 hunting accident in Indiana.

Limited hunting at Interlake
Interlake will re-open to hunting on various dates until the end of bow season for deer January 7. Interlake will re-open to hunters December 11, 2006 through January 7, 2007. Hunting will be allowed over entire property, in accordance with fish and wildlife laws and seasons.

Hunters at Interlake should always be mindful of the following: •They must enter the property on foot.

•Deer stands must be removed according to laws after hunting season.

•Any old permanent stands left on property will be removed.

All Interlake visitors, as well as any other traffic, must stay off all reclaimed areas. The off-limit reclaimed areas are easily identified by recent earthwork and the straw that is placed over the newly seeded plots.

Hunters interested in more information about hunting at Interlake may call Sugar Ridge FWA at 812-789-2724, or visit www.state.in.us/dnr/outdoor/interlake/index.htm

Find a place to hunt
I guess it now can come down to the ease of punching a few buttons to find a place to hunt. According to the latest release by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, using interactive TV technology and a remote control, hunters can now find great places to hunt without leaving the sofa.

Through December 23, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and The Media Group are delivering a half-hour show, Wingshooting USA, to more than 12 million viewers of Dish Network satellite television. During the show, now airing on the Men’s Outdoor & Recreation Channel, viewers can use their remote controls to locate bird-hunting preserves close to home or across the country, as well as enter to win a Polaris ATV and other prizes.

The new advertising and programming initiative was created and produced by The Media Group. Features include:

•Using the remote control, viewers can select a “trigger,” or on-screen prompt, taking them to an informative three-quarter-screen ad promoting the convenience, access and quality experiences offered by today’s bird hunting preserves. While in the Web-like environment, the Wingshooting USA show continues uninterrupted in a one-quarter screen.

•During scheduled broadcasts of Wingshooting USA, viewers can use the trigger to search a national database of bird-hunting preserves, searching with up to nine-digit zip code precision, to find great hunting access close to home or across the country. The database is from Black’s Wing and Clay, Waterfowl.

•During 30-second TV commercials aired across several national network channels, viewers can use the trigger to “telescope” to the Wingshooting USA program in progress on the Men’s Outdoors & Recreation channel.

•Viewers can use their remote controls to enter NSSF’s Hunt-and-Shoot Sweep-stakes for a chance to win a Polaris ATV, a bird-hunt for two at Flint Oak Ranch in Kansas, or tickets to a NASCAR race.

No filling out electronic forms, is required on the sweepstakes website. Since Dish network already knows its subscribers’ contact information, entering the sweepstakes involves only a click. The web address is www.wingshootingusa.org

“This is definitely a new way for us to reach out with Wingshooting USA’s promise to solve the Number 1 issue facing hunters today - limited hunting access,” said Dave Miles, director of advertising and promotions for NSSF. “All the tools needed to find a great daily-fee hunting spot are at your fingertips, whether you’re visiting Wingshoot-ing USA online or on TV.”

“NSSF is taking advantage of compelling technologies like on-screen triggers, i-ads, set-top box audience analysis and RFIs, or Requests For Information,” said Gary Turner, CEO and chairman of The Media Group. Wingshooting USA also is airing on regular TV on The Outdoor Channel. Check local listings for show times on both networks.

Wingshooting USA is a partnership between NSSF, Black’s Wing and Clay, Waterfowl, and the North American Gamebird Association.

Great 2 for 1 rate
Reserve your stay at an Indiana State Park Inn for two consecutive nights and get one night for free. Enjoy comfortable, quality lodging at any one of the State Park Inns and take advantage of this great winter special.

Rates are available Sunday through Thursday, now through Feb. 28, 2008, at the following lodges: Abe Martin Inn, Canyon Inn, Clifty Inn, Potawatomi Inn, Spring Mill Inn, Turkey Run Inn, and The Fort Golf Resort and Conference Center.

Reserve your stay today by calling 1-877-LODGES1 (877-563-4371) or go online at www.indianainns.com

This farm news was published in the Dec. 13, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.

12/13/2006