Tree stand checklist important for the safety of local hunters
FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons coach Dan Quinn is feeling better about his team’s injury situation coming out of a bye week.
The long break gave All- Pro receiver Julio Jones and All- Pro defensive end Vic Beasley time to recover and allowed right tackle Ryan Schraeder and free safety Ricardo Allen to come back from concussions.
That’s four starters the Falcons (3-1) didn’t have at the end of a Week 4 home loss to Buffalo. A fifth starter, receiver Mohamed Sanu, left the game with a hamstring injury and was doubtful for the team’s matchup against Miami. Sanu was the only player unable to practice in some capacity Monday, but the Falcons got some good news with defensive end Courtney Upshaw returning to the field as he recovers from ankle and knee injuries.
“It’s a perfect time for us to reset,” Quinn said. “For whatever reason, the bye hit us at the right time based on some injuries. It was great to have those guys back.”
Jones, recovering from a hip flexor suffered against Buffalo, and Beasley, sidelined since Week 2 with a sore hamstring, are two players Atlanta can’t replace talent-wise. Jones leads the NFL in average yards receiving and catches per game since he debuted in 2011. Beasley was the league’s sacks leader last season.
But pl a y i ng wit hout Schraeder and Al- len wasn’t easy either. Schraeder has started 46 of his 58 career games. Allen has started 33 of his 34 games. Ty Sambrailo took Schraeder’s spot and did a good job in the run game but struggled occasionally in protection. Damontae Kazee filled in for Allen but he’s a rookie.
“There will be other opportunities for them throughout the year,” Quinn said. “That’s just the nature of the game and how it goes, but it was great to have a more full roster back. It was a good start to the week.”
The Falcons’ coaching staff spent part of last week doing a “self-scout” to see how each position could improve. Quinn cited third down as needing improvement even though his offense and defense are doing well statistically in both categories. Turnover margin, though, is the biggest concern.
Atlanta ranks 28th at minus-4. The defense has one interception and one fumble recovery. The offense has five picks and one lost fumble.
Quinn likes the team’s intensity in practice. Now he wants to match it with executing plays and technique correctly.
“Not only are we hard to beat when those things really come to life we’re a lot of fun to watch, we’re a lot of fun coach and we’re a lot of fun to be around,” he said. “We are going to work like crazy to get those parts of your game, the battle, the prep, the competition and all of the practice things we want to improve upon.”
Rifle season in Georgia for deer hunting is starting soon, and local hunters are out preparing their favorite spots to bag their trophy bucks as fall weather starts to creep in.
The season is also the perfect time for hunters to find themselves in some tough situations if they haven’t done one item on their hunting checklist they should do every autumn: check the tree stand ahead of time.
Hoping to avoid issues, t he Georgia Department of Natural Resources wants to remind all hunters to take tree stand safety seriously and make it a top prior-
ATLANTA — Atlanta United has signed technical director Carlos Bocanegra to a fouryear contract extension through 2022 and added the title of vice president. ity before their hunting season starts.
“Most hunting accidents are caused due to some form of issue around a tree stand,” DNR Ranger First Class Chad Cox, said.
He said that when going through an annual inspection before the opening of rifle season, hunters need to first and foremost remember that bolts and harnesses age over time, and should be the first thing checked prior taking a first climb back up to their seats.
“You also should check your tree stand for wildlife and insects when getting ready for hunting season,” Cox said. “Birds and raccoons like to make nests in them,
Bocanegra was rewarded Monday for building a high-scoring roster that already qualified for the playoffs in United’s debut season. The team will set a Major League Soccer season attendance record, averaging more than 46,000. along with wasps and hornets.”
When everything i s clean and inspected, Cox said hunters should be well aware of their surroundings, keep their harness and orange vests on at all times, and lift firearms into a stand through a haul line.
“Never, ever load your firearm before going into your stand,” Cox said. “Accidents can happen just as easily climbing up a ladder as any other place.”
Above all, Cox said to always keep a cell phone within reach, or some form of communication to call for help, and to inform people of where the tree stand is located.
Cox said that annu-
Atlanta is the first expansion team to qualify for the playoffs since 2009 and only the second since 1998.
A longtime member of the U.S. national team, Bocanegra retired as a player in 2014. He was ally hunters get into accidents every year involving a tree stand, whether it is climbing in and falling out more than 10 feet above the ground without their harness on, or disturb wildlife in the stand previously undiscovered.
Those interested in more tips about hunting safety, licensing requirements and information about the wildlife in Georgia can visit gohuntgeorgia.com.
Tonight and Thursday nights are the last to get into local hunter safety courses from 6 to 10 p.m. at the JL Lester Wildlife Management Area in Cedartown. Pre-registration is required at gooutdoorsgeorgia.com. hired by United t he following year and assembled a roster that includes Josef Martinez, Miguel Almiron and Tito Villalba, who have combined to score 40 goals — more than four MLS teams.