This weekend, Minnesota's fall turkey hunting season begins which also means we're just over a month away from the deer firearm opener, which is November 5.

With that in mind, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is reminding hunters to brush up on Minnesota's firearms regulations and be sure to follow them all when out on a hunt.

According to the DNR, more than a half-million people hunt every year in Minnesota and their goal is that every one of them returns home safely at the end of every hunt. Hunting remains one of the safest recreational activities there is, but even one injury is one too many.

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The DNR believes a big reason there has been a decrease in the number of injuries and fatalities that occur as a result of firearms-related hunting incidents each year is because of number of students completing firearms safety training. They note that more than 21,000 students every year in Minnesota earn their firearms safety certification and since 1955, more than 1.3 million have done so.

The stats show that firearms safety training and awareness leads to overall safer hunting seasons, so it's a great idea keep these gun safety rules in mind:

  • Treat every firearm as if it is loaded: Assuming a firearm isn't loaded can be a deadly mistake.
  • Always control the muzzle: Keep your muzzle pointed in a safe direction and remember that anything toward which the muzzle points is in the crosshairs. Don’t overlook the possibility of a ricochet.
  • Be sure of your target and what is beyond: You’re responsible for knowing what’s in front of your target, near your target and beyond your target. If any of these three are in question, don't take the shot.
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot: Trigger discipline is crucial.
  • Protective gear: Protecting the eyes and ears requires very little, but it can prevent painful injuries.
  • Wear blaze orange to make hunting safer: Spotting a hunter wearing camo is hard, but wearing blaze orange makes you visible to others.

The Minnesota DNR's page dedicated to blaze clothing is another helpful resource to all who hunt within the state.

States with the most registered hunters

Stacker analyzed data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine which states have the most registered hunters. Read on to see how your state ranks on Stacker’s list.
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