Shotgun season for deer starts this Saturday; safety is again a concern


Shotgun season for deer opens this Saturday, November 18th, in Switzerland County and around the state of Indiana, and Indiana Conservation Officer Steve Kinne wants to remind hunters of some important information.

The season is traditionally a busy time in Switzerland County, with a large number of hunters – including many from outside of the county and state – heading into the local woods.

Steve Kinne said that hunters need to make sure that all equipment is in good working order prior to going out for the hunt.

“Tree stand safety is important,” Steve Kinne said. “We have more tree stand accidents than any other county in the state. If people are using permanent tree stands, they need to be checked every year to make sure that the wood in the stand hasn’t rotted and that the steps are secure.”

Steve Kinne also said that once up in the tree stand, it is very important that hunters wear a safety belt so that if they do slip, the safety belt will prevent them from falling to the ground.

“Hunter orange is also very important,” the conservation officer said. “Hunters need to make sure that they are wearing either a hat, coat, vest, or coveralls of solid hunter orange color.”

Other things to be aware of include things like making sure that as a hunter you get permission from the landowner prior to hunting; making sure that you have a valid deer hunting license in your possession; and following other laws and guidelines set forth by the state of Indiana.

“Anybody who’s not hunting on their own property needs to have a valid hunting license,” Steve Kinne said. “Resident landowners do not need a hunting license if they are hunting on their own property. Most of the deer check stations have hunting guides that a hunter can pick up and get all of the information that they need.”

Shotgun season runs through Sunday, December 3rd.


Early archery season for deer is already ongoing, and will run through December 3rd, as well. Other upcoming seasons include:

– Muzzleloader: December 9th-24th.

– Late archery: December 9th through January 7th, 2007.

– Rabbit season began on November 10th and runs through January 31st.

– Squirrel season began on August 15th and runs through January 31st, 2007.

Legal hunting hours for all deer seasons are from 30 minutes before sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset. Shotguns and handguns may be possessed in the field before and after legal hours as long as no shells are in the chamber or magazine.

A muzzleloading firearm may be possessed in the field before and after legal hunting hours as long as the percussion cap has been removed, in the case of percussion arms; or the pan is not primed, in the case of flintlock arms.

A long bow, crossbow, or compound bow may be possessed in the field before and after legal hunting hours only if the nock of the arrow is not placed on the bow string.

All of this information can be found on the Department of Natural Resources website: The hunting and trapping guide for the 2006-2007 seasons are available for download from the website.