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Birds on a wire: Don’t shoot power lines

For many hunters, September is an exciting month, as it means the start of their season with the opening of dove hunting. It’s also a good time to urge hunters to take precautions and be aware of potential electrical hazards while hunting. 

Doves often perch on power lines, making enticing targets for hunters. The risks of damaging electric and fiber-optic equipment, as well as causing potential personal harm, far outweigh the rewards of hunting. 

Never shoot near power lines, fiber-optic cable, insulators or other electrical equipment. A single shot can cause vast damage to the electrical system. Damage to electrical equipment can result in power interruptions and physical threats to those nearby. In order to avoid this, note the location of power lines and other electrical equipment before you begin a hunt. Be especially careful and observant in wooded areas where power lines are easy to overlook. 

Never set decoys on electrical equipment or utility poles. Any nonelectrical equipment attached to a pole can be an obstruction and serious hazard to lineworkers. 

In preparing for the upcoming deer hunting season, obey all signs or postings that advise electrical safety, especially when selecting the location for a tree stand. Tree stands are the leading cause for hunting injuries. Although they are important for hunters to have a better perspective for game, without precautions, tree stands can be extremely dangerous. 

Never use utility poles to support a tree stand. When setting up and taking down the stand, make sure you do not make contact with any overhead electrical equipment. Energized lines and equipment can conduct electricity to anyone who comes in contact with them, causing shock or electrocution. 

Before leaving for a hunting trip, make sure that you have safety items to signal for help in case of an emergency. Always carry emergency supplies in the event of an accident, such as a cellphone, whistle and flashlight. 

Good luck this hunting season. Stay safe while enjoying the great outdoors. 

For more information on electrical safety, visit SafeElectricity.org

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