CYNTHIANA, Ky. (FOX 56) — Fall has officially arrived in Kentucky, and with that comes the start of hunting season.

Many Kentuckians are ready to get out and target dove, turkey, and deer, which means a higher volume of firearm usage. The Kentucky National Guard said with that increase, they also see more firearm-related accidents.

Regardless of your level of firearm experience, the National Guard emphasized safety is always a priority. Here are some tips they provided in order to enjoy the outdoors safely:

Follow firearm safety practices:

  • Treat every firearm as if it were loaded
  • Only point at what you are trying to shoot
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot
  • Clearly identify your target, and what is beyond it, before shooting

Other helpful tips:

  • Check weather reports before going outdoors
  • Tell someone where you will be hunting and when you plan on returning
  • Familiarize yourself with your hunting area
  • Dress properly and plan for any weather conditions
  • Outfit your dog with hunter orange if you plan on taking one out in the field
  • Maintain your hunting equipment properly
  • Carry a set of dry clothing and wear layers
  • Carry a first aid kit
  • Be cautious when hunting near developed areas
  • Avoid wearing white or tan during deer season