Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

April 20, 2014

MARTINO: You may have company in woods

The outdoors can be crowded in the spring

(Continued)

“I had just gone through a series of yelps on my slate call when I heard rustling in the dry leaves,” he explained. “Pretty soon I caught a glimpse of red and blue coming my way on the other side of some brush.”

For those who don’t know, red and blue are the prominent colors of a male turkey’s head during the spring breeding season. Parson’s heart began to race as he slowly shifted into position at the same time shouldering his Mossberg 12-guage in hopes of taking his first Indiana long beard. After several anxious minutes an elderly gentleman stepped into view. The man was hunting morels and had accidently strayed off the property he had permission to access. The colors Parson saw were on a decorative red bandana the man had tied around his mushroom hunting stick back dropped by his blue jeans. Because of proper hunter ethics and firearm safety, a serious incident was avoided.

Hoosier sportsmen and women have much of which to be proud. In Indiana, hunting accidents are rare. One is too many. Each year national statistics show the highest number of hunting accidents occur during turkey hunting season. Maybe it’s because hunters sport complete camouflage to escape the keen eyesight of a wary boss gobbler. Or maybe it’s the use of calls, which in some cases have been known to lure in other hunters as well. In spite of our state’s sterling record, as far as spring hunting accidents go, hunters should in no way rest on our laurels.

In an effort to maintain our proud tradition of safe hunting, here are a few rules to keep in mind when afield this spring.

• Never assume you are alone in the woods, even if you are the only one with permission to be on private property.

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