Be safe as hunting seasons resume

Hunters and nonhunters are reminded to be cautious in the woods now that some of the state’s hunting seasons are open. With black bear season open throughout most of the state, state Department of Fish and Wildlife staff are stressing the need to be safety conscious.

Last August in Skagit County a hiker was shot and killed by a hunter who mistook her for a bear. That incident was the state’s first hunting-related fatality involving a nonhunter in at least 25 years.

A basic rule for hunters is to “know your target and what’s beyond it” before shooting, said Bruce Bjork, chief of the department’s enforcement officers in a news release.

The department offers these safety tips:

Wear brightly colored clothing: Wear colors such as blaze orange. Avoid wearing earth tones.

Make noise: Alert hunters to your presence by talking, singing or whistling.

Remain alert and never assume you are alone: Hikers, hunters, forest-product workers and anglers might be present in remote areas.

Be aware of hunting seasons: Hunting seasons occur in Washington throughout the year, except June and July.