As the leaves begin to change color on the trees, it’s a great reminder that the best time of year is here. This season brings so many of my favorite things including fall harvest, campfires, football, and most importantly…hunting. Now that deer hunting season has officially begun, I look forward to the early mornings in my hunting stand, waiting for that trophy buck to pass by for the perfect shot. Even if it’s not a trophy buck, any sort of deer activity is exciting and helps to pass the time.
The longer and more frequently you hunt, complacency tends to set in, making it easy to neglect the basics of hunting safety. Long hours up in the stand, and hunting in general, can potentially lead to dangerous situations if the proper safety precautions are not taken before, during, and after each hunt. Here are a few reminders as you prepare for your next hunting trip.
- Be familiar with and understand the firearm you are using; always assume every weapon is loaded. Make sure the safety is on at all times until you intend to shoot.
- Don’t shoot at something you can’t see or clearly identify; be sure of your target before shooting.
- Carry a cell phone with you at all times. In the event you fall or get injured, having a cell phone on hand is crucial to be able to call for medical help.
- If using a tree stand, always utilize the support of at least one other person when setting up the stand.
- Wear a full body harness when in a tree stand. Inspect your harnesses before and after use to ensure no frayed or torn stitching. If the harness is damaged, don’t use it.
- Use a rope to pull your bow or gun up to the top of your tree stand.
- Maintain proper hydration during hunts. Even though the weather may be cooler, you still want to be sure you are consuming adequate amounts of water to prevent dehydration.
Even if you don’t shoot the perfect trophy buck this year, you and your family will be much happier if you come back injury free. Good luck to all the hunters this season! Have fun and be safe!
Bass Pro Shops. “Hunter and Non-Hunter Basic Safety Tips During Hunting Season.” November 13, 2014.
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