The rush of adrenaline as that monster buck emerges from the thick brush or sweet talking that old gobbler into gun range draws hunters into the wild each year in hopes of bagging that elusive trophy. Hunting is addictive, exciting, and dangerous. Hunters can reduce the dangers of the sport by exercising proper hunting safety techniques.
Always prepare before your hunt, including preparing for unexpected weather. Never go on a hunting trip without informing someone of your hunting location. It is a good idea to provide detailed directions of your hunting location and your planned return time. Always pack a first aid kit for your hunt. A nasty cut can quickly ruin your outdoor experience. Carry your cell phone. A phone can mean the difference between life and death in an emergency situation.
-During the hunt –
Remain focused on your surroundings. Tripping and falling over debris can quickly ruin your hunt. Focus can also help the hunter avoid other dangers such as a poisonous snake.
Never use alcohol or drugs while hunting or shooting.
Thoroughly inspect and prepare your weapon before each hunting trip. A weapon malfunction can lead to a serious injury. Always assume every gun is loaded. Keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. Do not point a gun at anything that you wouldn’t want to shoot. Always clearly identify your target before pulling the trigger. Once the shot is fired, you cannot take it back. Also, learn the various positions for safely carrying your weapon in the field. When you are done hunting, unload your weapons and store guns and ammunition separately.
If bow hunting, keep all bows cased to and from hunting stands. If you hunt from a tree stand, always wear a safety harness. Falling from a tree stand can paralyze or even kill you.
Camouflage is a necessity for concealment from game animals. When other hunters are nearby, camo can put you at risk of being mistaken for a hunted animal. Always wear a safety vest of hunter or blaze orange over your camouflage clothing to allow other hunters to see you.
With the excitement and adrenaline of hunting it is easy to get caught up in the moment. You must stay focused and prevent your emotions from clouding your judgement. Always consider the consequences before you act.
Using common sense and some caution you can keep your hunts enjoyable time after time. Following some simple guidelines can keep you, your friends, and your family safe all season.
Due to the increase in hunting education, hunting-related incidents are decreasing. Help keep hunting a safe sport. All Terrain Outdoors recommends reviewing your state’s regulations for hunting safety tips and up-to-date hunting laws.
Some states participate in an online hunting education course, which can be found here http://hunteredcourse.com/