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Orange … and purple?

Deer hunters need to be on lookout for another color

AP photo
Today marks the opening day of the firearms deer hunting season in Pennsylvania.

LEWISTOWN — Today marks the first day of firearms deer hunting season in Pennsylvania, which means the color most hunters probably think of is blaze orange.

But there is one other color hunters need to be on the lookout for — purple.

That’s because Pennsylvania has joined several other states in adopting a “purple paint law,” which went into effect last year. The law provides landowners with an alternative to marking their properties as “no trespassing.”

Under the law, landowners may paint purple stripes on trees or posts to mark their properties. The lines must be vertical and at least 8 inches long and 1 inch wide. They must be 3 to 5 feet off the ground, readily visible to a person approaching the property and no more than 100 feet apart. While the law does not specify a certain shade of purple, a number of paint manufacturers offer a product called “No Hunting Purple.”

The law applies everywhere in Pennsylvania, except in Philadelphia and Allegheny counties.

But that’s not all hunters should be thinking about as they head out to try and bag that buck. The PGC has a few tips to make that hunting expedition a safe one.

Basic Safety

¯Positively identify the target — Be sure you are shooting at legal game and not another hunter. And never shoot at sounds or movement.

¯Know your zone of fire and never shoot at game moving between you and someone else.

¯Wear the mandated amount of fluorescent orange clothing and use layers of clothing that wick moisture, insulate and block wind or rain to help keep you safe and comfortable.

¯ Let someone know where you are hunting and when you will return. They should alert authorities if you do not return at the appointed time.

¯Carry a basic survival kit and know how to use it.

Firearms Safety

¯Handle all firearms as if they’re loaded. Never assume they are unloaded and double check to be sure.

¯Always point the muzzle in a safe direction and don’t put your finger on the trigger until you are ready to shoot.

¯Unload and place your firearm on the ground before crossing a fence, log or other obstacle, or climbing a tree.

¯Shoot only when a safe and adequate backstop exists. Don’t shoot at hard, flat surfaces, water or a target on the horizon.

For more information, visit the PGC website at www.pgc.pa.gov.

Hunters Can Share

Their Harvest

The state Department of Agriculture and PGC are again encouraging hunters to consider sharing their deer harvest to provide thousands of pounds of venison to people in need.

Hunters Sharing the Harvest is Pennsylvania’s venison donation program for hunters who share their extra venison via a statewide network of participating butchers to food pantries and community assistance centers across the commonwealth. HSH has distributed 1.5 million pounds of donated venison since 1991. On average, a single deer donated can provide up to 200 meals.

Hunters can donate all or part of a harvested deer by taking it to a participating processor, which will then distribute the ground venison to food banks and pantries.

For more information, including a list of participating processors in the area, visit www.ShareDeer.org.

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