news sheriffs office offers safety tips to hunters in advance of muzzle loader season

Augusta County: Sheriff’s Office offers safety tips to hunters in advance of muzzle loader season

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Saturday is the opening day of muzzle loader season west of the Blue Ridge, and hunters are reminded to put safety first.

According to Augusta County Sheriff Donald Smith, the hunting season lasts through the early part of January, with different regulations and systems allowed during those times.

Residents of Augusta County should be prepared to hear sounds of gunshots related to hunting in the region.

The sheriff’s department shared tips from the University of Missouri Health website.

Hunter safety tips

  • Wear hunter orange when in the woods. Use hunter orange to identify your hunting location.
  • Dress defensively. Never wear red, white, blue or black while hunting turkey.
  • Know the effective range of your gun.
  • Never shoot at sound or movement. Assume it is another hunter until you can clearly see the animal.
  • Stay aware of other hunters.
  • Be sure of your target and what lies beyond it.
  • Make sure your equipment is in good working condition and your firearm is properly sighted in.
  • If you hunt on private land, know where the boundaries, houses, roads, fences and livestock are located on the property.
  • Report observed violations of the law to a conservation agent or local sheriff.
  • Know and obey all wildlife laws and gun safety.
  • When using a camouflage blind, other hunters cannot see you even if you are wearing hunter orange. Tie hunter orange on each side of the blind so it can be seen from all sides.
  • If you are an inexperienced hunter, seek out experienced hunters that you can learn from.

For more information, the sheriff department recommends visiting the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries website at

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.