November 15th, or what is more commonly known as “Opening Day”, has firearm deer hunters in Michigan filled with anticipation. Here at the Law Office of John Freeman, PLLC we have already been out during bow season, and John took this buck on Monday, November 8, 2010.

As the gun season descends upon us, the law firm wishes the more than 600,000 of you that will take to the woods and fields this gun season good luck! In addition, here are some important firearms hunting tips to ensure your hunting season is safe and successful.

1. Wear your “Hunter Orange”

Michigan hunters are required to wear a hat, cap, vest, or jacket of highly visible color, which most hunters refer to as “Hunter Orange.” Your orange must be visible from all sides. During the firearm season, wearing “Hunter Orange” applies to all deer hunters, even those hunting with a bow and arrow. Wearing “Hunter Orange” is critical for you to be visible to other hunters. So when bundling up this season, remember the more you stand out as a hunter, the less likely you will mistaken for the hunted. You can also avoid a costly misdemeanor ticket for not wearing enough hunter’s orange.

2. Hunting Hours

Keep in mind that hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. Make sure you check the sunrise and sunset times for the days you plan to hunt. Violations for hunting outside of hunting hours could cost you $50 to $500 fine and/or up to 90 days in jail.

3. Safety first!

Remember to always treat every firearm as if it is loaded. This means always keep the firearm pointed in a safe direction, and never point a firearm at another person. Taking extra safety precautions could save you from a tragic accident and unpleasant legal consequences.

4. Save the drinks for after the hunt

Possessing a firearm is a serious responsibility. You must be alert and use your best judgment. Those using alcohol and drugs are less alert and their judgment can become impaired. Carrying a firearm while under the influence can cause serious accidents. Saving the drinks for after the hunt could save a life, and save you a $500 fine and/or up to 93 days in jail.

5. Know your hunting land

When hunting on private land, Michigan law requires permission from the landowner or leaseholder before you can hunt on any farmlands, connected wood lots or on any posted private lands. You can get permission by asking landowners or leaseholders for permission. Landowners may grant verbal permission. Failing to get permission can lead to serious trouble. Not only is trespassing illegal, trespassing has seriously decreased the support for recreational hunting in Michigan. Additionally remember that if you must track a wounded deer onto private property, you have no legal right to pursue the animal without permission of the landowner. Again, without permission, continuing onto to private property is trespassing and subject to prosecution.

Good luck and happy hunting!