ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Hunters across Georgia are gearing up for the start of the firearm deer hunting season on Saturday.
DNR rangers are stressing safety, and they said its time to prepare now.
Last year, WALB reported on two South Georgia hunters who were injured after falling dozens of feet from their tree stand.
Rangers say tree stand accidents tend to be a majority of the accidents each year. They are encouraging hunters to check their tree stand ahead of time and make sure its safe to climb and to wear a harness while elevated.
Rangers are also reminding hunters to wearing 500 sq. inches of orange above the waist. It's not only the law, but can prevent hunters from becoming a target.
"They need to identify their target is the main thing. If they are going to be hunting they need to be very confident with the weapon they are using and they need to make sure they identify their target before they ever pick up their firearm," said Cpl. Greg Wade with the Georgia DNR.
He said every hunter should identify their target before they even touch their weapon.
"The best thing to do is to carry binoculars with them, instead of identifying something through a scope, carry binoculars so that they can identify it that way before they ever pick their gun up and point it at anything," said Wade.
Wade says rangers will be out this weekend and throughout the season. He encourages anyone who needs assistance to use the ranger hotline or call 911 if it's an emergency.
New this year, hunters have to report their harvest within 72 hours. They can so do by calling it in or by using the Outdoors GA app.
"We're basically after voluntary compliance right now, we just want everybody to do it, this is a good way of determining, a better way of determining how many deer are harvested each year," said Wade.
The deer season kicks off 30 minutes before sunrise on Saturday.