SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois officials are offering safety tips as firearm deer-hunting season gets underway this weekend.

Officials with the state Department of Natural Resources say hunters using trees stands should secure themselves with safety harnesses. Among other safety reminders: Always assume a gun is loaded and always point a firearm in a safe direction.

Last year there were 29 hunting incidents during all seasons in Illinois. Most involved hunters falling from elevated tree stands or falling while climbing in or out of stands.

The first weekend of firearm deer-hunting starts Friday and ends Sunday. It’ll conclude Nov. 30 to Dec. 3.

Hunting hours will be from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.

Hunters in most Illinois counties have to register the deer they harvest online or by phone.