Hunter safety guide to electrical and fiber equipment

Choptank Electric Cooperative
Posted 3/3/24

But an increasing, and unfortunate, issue that’s occurring is power lines being shot by hunters and gun enthusiasts...

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Hunter safety guide to electrical and fiber equipment


For electric power on the Delmarva Peninsula, the Choptank Electric Cooperative is made up of 56,000-plus members. Everyone relies on the safety and upkeep of the power grid. Choptank’s power lines and utility poles are the foundation of how the general public and businesses enjoy the comforts, convenience and the power of reliable electricity and quality internet.

But an increasing, and unfortunate, issue that’s occurring is power lines being shot by hunters and gun enthusiasts.

“We know the majority of hunters practice safe hunting, and they understand the potential hazards when discharging a firearm. We encourage these experienced hunters who are familiar with the area to help identify locations of electrical equipment to the younger, less experienced, hunters and gun enthusiasts,” according to the Choptank team. Tampering or misuse of the fiber and electric lines can not only put yourself in danger but will also affect all other members that are down-line.

Maryland law has several provisions that prohibit hunters from damaging the property of another. Please be advised that if you (or hunters who you allow on your property) cause future damage to Choptank’s equipment, you could be fined by the Department of Natural Resources and/or held liable for the cost of repairs.

Please respect yourself, your fellow members and our power infrastructure. Thank you for being a valuable member of Choptank Electric Cooperative; please find helpful safety tips to follow below.

Basic Electrical Hunter Safety Rules to Follow

  1. Be aware and take note of your surroundings.
  2. 2. Do not shoot at or near power lines, fiber lines or electrical equipment.
  3. 3. Familiarize yourself with the location of power lines and equipment on land where you shoot/hunt.
  4. Do not shoot at, or near, birds perching on utility lines. That goes for any type of firearm, including pistols, rifles or shotguns.
  5. Take notice of warning signs and keep clear of electrical equipment.
  6. Keep a safe distance from power lines and electrical equipment when hunting. Accidents can be easily avoided if you do so.
  7. Damage to the conductor can happen, possibly dropping a phase on the ground. If weather conditions are dry, and the electricity goes to ground, there is the possibility of electrocution and fire.
  8. Be especially careful in wooded areas where power lines may not be as visible.
  9. Never use utility poles or towers to support equipment used in your shooting activity.
  10. Never climb poles or place deer stands on utility poles. Energized lines and equipment on the poles can conduct electricity to anyone who comes in contact with them, causing shock or electrocution.
  11. Do not place decoys or any other hunting/shooting equipment on power lines or other utility equipment. Anything attached to a pole besides utility equipment can pose an obstruction, and a serious hazard, to electric cooperative employees as they perform utility operations.
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