Hunting season brings outdoorsmen of all skill levels and experience into rural Indiana, often to unfamiliar areas. While most hunters follow safe hunting practices, Indiana’s electric cooperatives remind all those afield to be mindful of their surroundings and to be aware of electric power lines and equipment in the air and electrical equipment on the ground.
“Skilled hunters understand the potential hazards of discharging a firearm and would never shoot blindly toward electric infrastructure,” said Joe Parsons, Director of Operations at Hendricks Power. “But there have been instances over the years of accidental damage and intentional vandalism to some power poles and hardware.”
Electrical equipment damaged by gunshot is costly to the utility and to customers relying on that power. The damage can even spark a fire.
Hendricks Power encourages all hunters and gun owners to be aware of electrical equipment in their surroundings while enjoying the great outdoors. Here are things to keep in mind:
- Never shoot near or toward overhead power lines, power poles, or substations. A stray bullet can cause damage to equipment. Sometimes the damage, such as to an insulator, isn’t noticed until it rains. Then it can cause an outage or a fire.
- Familiarize yourself with the location of power lines and equipment on land where you are hunting. Landowners are encouraged to remind those hunting on their property to be aware of power lines and other electrical equipment.
- Damage to the conductor can happen, possibly dropping a line from its perch. If it’s dry and the electricity goes to the ground, there is the possibility of electrocution and fire.
- Be especially careful in wooded areas where power lines may not be as visible.
- Take notice of warning signs and keep clear of electrical equipment.
- Do not use utility poles or towers to support equipment used in your hunting activity or for supporting deer stands. Energized lines and equipment on the poles can conduct electricity to anyone who comes in contact with them, causing shock or electrocution.
“We want everyone to enjoy the great outdoors and all rural Indiana has to offer,” noted Parsons. “Electrical equipment can be found even in remote areas and is sometimes hard to see. Please just be aware of what’s out there.”