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The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission reminds everyone to put a little space between themselves and other hunters at deer camp and in the blind this duck season.

Guidelines recommend maintaining a 6-foot distance between hunters who aren’t immediate family.

Earlier this year, wildlife and conservation agencies throughout the country recorded record sales of fishing licenses in response to coronavirus issues. While deer hunting results have remained fairly consistent with years past, agencies may still see a spike in hunting activity as fall seasons progress. Many people may reach for the outdoors to escape virus fatigue.

“We just ask that everyone takes some consideration into what actions they can take to minimize their exposure to people, so they don’t catch the disease or unknowingly spread it,” said Chris Colclasure, Game and Fish deputy director. “There have been a number of asymptomatic cases that continue to spread this disease, so it’s important to stay vigilant, even if you aren’t showing any signs of having it.”

Here are a some extra precautions for hunters to help slow the spread:

• Be patient at crowded access points. Mornings during duck season can bring lots of hunters to the boat launch ramps at the state’s more popular duck-hunting destinations. On the water, be courteous and keep your distance if you see another hunter has already set up in a location.

• Plan ahead. Take extra precautions loading and preparing for the ride. If you’re hunting with someone not in your immediate family or household, take separate vehicles and think about spacing people farther apart in boats. This may mean taking an additional boat if needed to ensure everyone maintains social distancing guidelines. If you purchase gas or food at local vendors, be sure to wear a face-covering and wash your hands thoroughly. Keep some sanitizer in the car to help kill any germs you may have come in contact with.

• Bring your own. Sharing a cup of coffee or breakfast during a morning hunt is one of the best bonding experiences in the duck woods. It’s best to bring your own mess kit and snacks and not partake of your hunting buddy’s famous breakfast burrito or coffee. If you can’t resist a taste, at least have your own eating implements and cup to avoid any transfer of possible germs.

• Keep it friendly, but keep your distance. Jumping through a few extra hoops for safety could mean some grumpy hunters this season. Try to remember that we’re all in this together, pursuing what we love. Arguing over hunting locations or setting up too close to other parties leads to a frustrating day for everyone.

Jumping through a few extra hoops for safety could mean some grumpy hunters this season.

NWA Outdoors

Print Headline: Think virus prevention this season

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