Anyone that has hunted long enough has heard of, or known of, a person that suffered an injury while on a hunting trip. While not all hunting accidents are as critical as the one displayed in the picture above, it is, however, absolutely necessary to take all precautions to avoid accidents and injuries. Especially so when you’re hunting in remote locations where medical facilities may not be available. But, like the Boy Scouts motto, you should “always be prepared” in case the unthinkable should happen while you’re out in the field. Being prepared with something as simple as a first aid kit and basic medical skills could be enough to save your life or someone else’s.
Taking a class on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (otherwise known as CPR) could be the best $30 you’ll spend in your entire life. Knowing CPR can literally mean the difference between life and death for someone you’re hunting with. Classes are often taught at your local fire department, hospital, even the Red Cross offers classes. You can attend the class, learn the steps, and be certified in one day. First aid courses are also taught in some of these CPR classes. Before attending such a class, it is a good idea to first consult with the organizer to know whether first aid is included in the course or not.
If you’re ever in an emergency situation when out hunting and someone is calling for help, first be sure that it is safe for you to help the injured person. The scene should be evaluated immediately to avoid finding yourself and the victim both in danger. Before providing any first aid to others one should ensure that the area is safe for both the victim and yourself. The main reason behind this logic is that if the person capable of providing first aid becomes injured then he or she cannot help others. If you were to become hurt as well, the rescue team would have to deal with one more injured person. In an accident situation a split-second decision can make a difference between life and death.
A person trained in first aid should first check any breathing difficulty being faced by the injured person. It is important to check the airway. In case the throat or mouth is blocked by objects, water or blood, then this should be handled immediately. If required, breathing should be provided. You should also check the victim for a pulse. If the victim has been shot, for example, and blood is coming out from the wound, you can tear off your t-shirt and apply pressure to it to stop the bleeding. If the wound is on the leg or arm, it may be appropriate to tie a tourniquet with a shirt, rope, or even your belt, if that’s the only thing available. If you’re going to tie a tourniquet, it needs to be tightened on the leg or arm in such a way that the flow of blood towards the injured areas is restricted.
It is important to call for assistance as soon as possible. It can be difficult for a single person to handle such a situation without any assistance. If others individuals are present, then rescue tasks (like CPR) should be shared to avoid exhaustion. In some extreme cases there may be spinal / neck injuries to the victim, making it difficult for the injured person to breathe, this type of condition requires providing rescue breathing. See where your CPR certification comes in handy?
Many times hunting accidents can be avoided simply by keeping away from aggressive animals, practicing weapons safety, and being prepared ahead of time. So, before venturing out on your next hunting excursion, be sure someone back home knows the the location of where you’re hunting and what your return date is. It’s possible to avoid injuries and accidents to a great extent by being informed, keeping away from unsafe conditions, and using basic first aid procedures.