JOIN TOGETHER FOR HUNTER / ATV SAFETY
OPP, MNR, MTO and THUNDER BAY DISTRICT CRIME STOPPERS
JOIN TOGETHER FOR HUNTER / ATV SAFETY
On Friday, November 7, 2014, officers from the Thunder Bay Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), conservation officers from Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), Ministry of Transportation (MTO) and Thunder Bay District Crime Stoppers will join together to provide hunter and ATV safety information to the public. The information display will be at the Canadian Tire at 1221 Arthur Street West from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm.
Where: Canadian Tire – 1221 Arthur Street West, Thunder Bay
When: Friday, November 7, 2014 – 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Fall is upon us and that means that hunting season has arrived. This means that there will be many hunters travelling the back road and rural areas. It is important for hunters to ensure that hunter safety and being prepared are kept in mind when venturing out for the day.
Here are some things to consider when planning your day in the bush:
• Ensure that you have the appropriate hunting licences for the game that you will be hunting for. It is your responsibility to know the game possession limits for your hunting area, as well as the hunting season dates for your wildlife management area.
• Check your Firearms Licence (Possession / Acquisition or Possession Only) to make sure that they are current. You must have a current licence to carry a firearm and have it with you.
• When transporting your firearm and ammunition, ensure that both are secured properly. It is an offence to have a loaded firearm in your vehicle, ATV or vessel. All firearms must be unloaded and encased between ½ hour after sunset and ½ before sunrise
• Hunter orange is a must. All hunters must wear a hunter orange garment and a hunter orange head covering of some sort. The more visible you are—the safer you will be. Check the regulations regarding these requirements.
• Tell someone where you will be hunting and when you expect to be back. Take a cell phone with you if possible. If you are walking, let someone know where you will park your vehicle. If you become lost or injured, this will save searchers a great deal of valuable time if they know where to start.
• Dress for the weather and wear proper footwear. Fall weather can often change quickly.
• Be prepared. Pack items such as water, snacks, matches, a first aid kit, map, compass, knife, flashlight and perhaps extra gloves/socks and a wind breaker. If you are lost, run into bad weather or are injured, you can look after your immediate needs and stay warm. A GPS is always a good idea. If you are using a vehicle, be prepared for breakdowns. If you are with others, FRS “walkie talkies” can be handy too.
• Hunt only where you are permitted and stay off private property unless you have written permission from the land owner.
• Hunting by night (jack lighting) for big game species such as deer, moose and bear is not permitted and is very dangerous.
• Practice safe firearm handling practices. Treat all guns as if they are loaded. Ensure that you safely carry your firearm. Never let your firearm “cover” anything you are not willing to destroy. Keep the safety on and finger off the trigger until you are actually going to fire. Be sure of your target and what stands beyond. If you are not sure of either, do not fire and wait. You are responsible for the rounds you fire, so make sure of what is beyond your target and what your target is. There may be others in the forest close by.
• Unload and take an extra moment to ensure your firearm is empty before you put it away or get into your vehicle. This means unloaded, with the clip / ammunition removed and the safety on.
• Alcohol / drugs and hunting do not mix. You need to be clear minded while you are hunting and ensure that all members of your party do the same. The consequences can be tragic.
• When using an Off Road Vehicle or ATV, it is your responsibility to abide by the relevant legislation pertaining to its operation and the carrying of a firearm while travelling.
• Show consideration for others using the forest. If someone approaches you, unload your firearm as a courtesy. If the area is busy, consider a different area to hunt.
Hunter safety is everyone’s responsibility. The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) encourages all residents and visitors to conduct safe hunting practices. For more information about hunting regulations go to www.mnr.gov.on.ca or contact your local MNR office.
The All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) is a very popular year-round utility and recreational vehicle that offers many hours of enjoyment for outdoor enthusiasts. However, there are certain risks associated with riding an ATV if laws aren’t respected and safety precautions are ignored.
Here are some things you need to know when operating an ATV:
ATVs are prohibited from all roadways in Ontario unless the municipality has passed a bylaw to make an exception to this rule. ATV operators must remember that:
- Operator must drive the ATV on the far right hand side of the roadway.
- All riders must always wear an approved safety helmet.
- Drivers must hold a valid G2 or greater drivers licence (if operated on roadways where allowed)
- 20 km/h is the maximum speed an ATV can travel on roads with a posted speed limit of 50 km/h or less.
- Operator shall operate the ATV at a speed of one half of the posted limit up to a maximum speed of 50km/h.
- Impaired Operation – drinking and driving while operating an ATV is a criminal offence and carries the same penalties as operating a vehicle
- ATV’s are prohibited from travelling along or across Highway 400 series highways.
- Ownership – vehicle must be registered and proof of same must be produced at the trailside.
- ATV owner must have liability insurance and surrender proof upon request.
- Licence Plate – the vehicle must have a properly displayed off-road licence plate
- Age – must be at least 12 years of age (when operating on trails unsupervised).
- An ATV travelling along a road must have its headlights and tail lights on.
- Ride with others – never alone
Remember to always operate your ATV with an approved helmet, eye protection, boots, gloves, long pants and long-sleeved shirt or jacket. Please follow these safety tips in order to maximize the enjoyment of your ATV.
For more information on ATV’s please visit one of these websites:
Contact: Provincial Constable Diana Cole
Thunder Bay OPP