Illinois DNR Offers Safety Refresher Online
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is reminding hunters that spending a few minutes online before heading into the field could be the difference between life and death. Safety education courses are the best way to refresh the minds of even the most seasoned hunters.
This year, the IDNR is offering hunters a new way to reeducate themselves on treestand safety before heading into the field. HunterExam.com and the Treestand Manufactures Association (TMA) are offering a free online safety course which is available through the IDNR website at www.dnr.state.il.us under the "What's New" section.
"It's quick, it's easy and it might save your life," said IDNR Acting Director Sam Flood. "Every year in Illinois hunters are injured or killed in the field and most accidents are preventable if the proper precautions are taken."
Last year there were 28 reported hunting incidents in Illinois, of which 12 involved falls from treestands. Many of those falls resulted from the failure by the hunter to wear a fall restraint harness.
"Treestands have evolved over the years and so has treestand safety education. What used to be considered safe five to ten years ago is not considered safe today," said IDNR Safety Education Coordinator Jeff Hopkins. "“By reviewing the narrated safety tips a hunter, new or experienced, can learn about the latest Treestand Manufacturers Association safety standards and guidelines."
The IDNR offers free hunting safety courses to the public. The courses are taught by volunteer safety instructors and include instruction on hunting regulations, hunter ethics and responsibility, archery, firearms, ammunition, first aid, wildlife identification and conservation. A minimum of 10 hours of instruction is involved.
Illinois law requires that anyone born on or after January 1, 1980 must successfully complete a hunter safety course before a regular Illinois hunting license is issued. Those who complete the course and pass the final exam receive a certificate of competency. Last year, nearly 17,000 students completed the course.
For more information on hunter safety education courses and the complete schedule of IDNR safety education programs, call 1-800/832-2599 or check the IDNR web site at http://dnr.state.il.us/safety/.