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DNR urges tree stand safety

SOCIAL CIRCLE -- Officials with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division are urging hunters to be careful when using tree stands, which are "the leading cause of hunting-related incidents in Georgia each year."

The state agency asks hunters to do the following:

-- Check the hardware on tree stands and become familiar with their features prior to hunting.

-- Always wear a fall arrest system/full body harness not only while in the stand , but also when climbing into or out of the stand.

-- Always use a haul line to pull up and lower gear.

-- Always unload any firearms or bows prior to climbing into or out of the stand.

-- Always stay awake and alert in the stand and never use alcohol or drugs before or while hunting.

DNR asks hunters to watch for poachers

SOCIAL CIRCLE -- Ranger First Class Brandon Pierce of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division asks hunters to turn in poachers.

"Poachers steal wildlife that belongs to all Georgians," Pierce said. "They rob you of recreational opportunities such as hunting, fishing and wildlife watching. Conservation rangers need your help to catch these thieves."

To report a poacher, call the Turn in Poachers hotline at 1 800 241-4113. Information leading to an arrest could lead to a reward.

For more information, visit www.georgiawildlife.com.