Illinois officials: Be safe as firearm deer hunting starts

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ Illinois authorities are urging hunters to be safe as firearm deer-hunting season gets underway.

The seven-day season starts Friday for a three-day period. A final four-day period starts Dec. 3.

Monday’s statement from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources says there were 20 hunting accidents in all of 2014, with two deaths. Ten of the incidents involved falling tree stands.

IDNR Director Wayne Rosenthal says this is the busiest hunting season of the year. He adds the best way to enjoy it “is to be aware, be alert and be safe.”

The IDNR says hunters using trees stands should secure themselves with harnesses. Among other safety reminders: Always assume a gun is loaded.

Hunting hours will be from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.

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