With the first day of hunting season nearly here, it's time to check your supply of blaze orange, to keep you and your pets safe.

I live in the woods, so this time of year is filled with the sight of people carrying bows and arrows, headed into the woods. This includes my husband who has already bagged a small buck. By the first of next week, we'll be hearing the occasional gunfire coming from the forest that surrounds our home, as residents' day for firearms starts Saturday, and the season opens up to everyone on Monday. Blaze orange is a staple in our house, and should be in yours, as well, if you plan to spend any time outside.

I realize if you're walking through downtown Bangor, you don't need blaze orange. But in most regions of Maine, there's a good chance you're near some woods. So put on a blaze orange hat, or a bright orange vest over your jacket. Tie a blaze orange bandana around your dogs neck or, better yet, put him/her in a blaze orange vest of their own. Whatever you wear, it will make you visible to hunters, who won't mistake you for a deer.

Our dog, Toby, is black and white, including a black tail with a white tip. I usually say it looks like a magic marker with a white cap. But, over the next few weeks, that wagging white tail could look like something completely different. My Mom and Dad always say 'better to be safe than sorry,' and that definitely applies here.

Good luck to the hunters. If my drive to work in the morning is any indication, deer seem to be plentiful this year. I see them in groups everyday. Just make sure to identify your target before you shoot. If we all work together, this can be a safe and successful season.

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