With hunting season nearing full swing, hunters are being reminded to be vigilant and take plenty of precautions if they go out into the bush.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is letting hunters know about tips they can keep in mind in order to ensure their own safety – as well as those around them.

Some of the most common occurrences surrounding hunting include people mishandling their firearms.

Conservation Officer Todd Steinberg says just one hunting incident involving firearms is one too many.

“Ensuring they’re respectful of people and property,” Steinberg said. “Never shoot unless you are absolutely sure of your target and its identification and of course, what lies beyond it. Never shoot or have a loaded firearm on a vehicle which includes ATVs, snowmobiles, motorized vessels and aircrafts.”

Steinberg says all hunters should wear solid hunter orange and a hunter orange head cover during gun seasons for deer, moose and elk.

The same applies to bear hunters who are not hunting from a tree stand.

Steinberg says conservation officers will continue to patrol natural areas during the pandemic and he reminds everyone to respect the rules.

“Be respectful of social distancing guidelines and health guidelines that have been implemented in Ontario,” Steinberg said. “Conservation officers will be taking those precautions including having facemasks and having other personal protective equipment.”

Hunters are also reminded to dispose of hides and entrails safely and ethically.

Check out the 2020-2021 Hunting Regulations Summary before heading out.

If you see a hunting violation, you’re encouraged to call the MNRF at 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667) or by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.