(CBS DETROIT) – The Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers share the best tips and practices to avoid violations as the firearm deer season approaches, beginning on Nov. 15.

Conservation Officer Jenni Hanson checks a deer for proper tagging at a camp in Iron County during the 2019 season. | Credit: Michigan DNR

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“Most of the violations that conservation officers encounter during firearm deer season are simple mistakes people make when they get caught up in the excitement of the hunt or forget to put safety first,” said F/Lt. Jason Wicklund, DNR Law Enforcement Division. “We want people to be safe, so they have a good story to tell friends and family about their successful hunt.”

Here is the list of 10 best tips that Michigan DNR officers shared:

Properly tag your deer

Conservation officers often see the wrong kill tag on game – such as fish or turkey licenses on deer.

Before field-dressing or moving the deer, kill tags should be filled out (including the month and date the deer was taken and the deer’s gender and number of antler points) and properly placed on the deer.

Know your firearm and how it functions

Take the time to familiarize yourself with your firearm and make sure it is properly sighted and functioning before you go hunting.

Know your target and what’s beyond it

Rifle rounds travel long distances – hunters are responsible for where the bullets end up.

Know the area you’ll be hunting, including nearby buildings and properties. No one may hunt with a firearm within 450 feet of an occupied structure (including buildings, dwellings, homes, residences, cabins, barns, or structures used for farm operations) unless they have permission from the landowner.

Respect landowner rights

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Always respect posted trespassing signs. If you’ll be hunting near someone else’s property, contact the landowner ahead of time; don’t wait until you’re tracking game.

Share public land

Hunters should research and scout the land they plan to hunt well before the hunt. Brush, constructed blinds and tree stands on public land are just that – public. Regardless of who constructed, purchased or tends to these blinds, when they’re on state-managed public land, they are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Public land cannot be posted or reserved.

Leave the land better than you found it

Practice the “leave no trace” ethic and don’t litter. Whatever is brought into the woods should be taken back out.

Wear hunter orange

Hunters are required by law to wear hunter orange as the outermost layer of clothing at all times. Hunter orange garments, including camouflage, must be at least 50 percent hunter orange and be visible from all directions.

Know and follow baiting regulations

Know the law. Baiting and feeding are banned in the entire Lower Peninsula and in the core chronic wasting disease surveillance area in the Upper Peninsula (portions of Delta, Dickinson, and Menominee counties) – except for hunters with disabilities who meet specific requirements.

Hunt in-season, during legal hours

Make sure your hunt is within legal hours. A hunter legally may shoot game 30 minutes before sunrise or until 30 minutes after sunset.

Be respectful to other hunters

Respect the law. Michigan law prohibits anyone obstructing or interfering with the lawful taking of animals. Hunter harassment is a misdemeanor offense.

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