Safety While Hunting
The idea of bagging a 12 point buck or bringing home a trophy black bear holds great attraction to the thousands of hunters that venture into the woods each fall. Hunting is the most enjoyable thing you can do with your clothes on, but it can also be dangerous, even fatal, if one is not careful and does not follow safe hunting principles.
First and foremost, prepare well before setting out on your hunting trip. Do not go to unknown locations or simply take off on a whim without proper precautions. Inform your family and friends about your proposed trip… where you are going and when you will be back. In fact you could even go a step further leaving detailed instructions about how to reach there in case of a medical emergency. Stick to your schedule so that you don’t cause undue anxiety for others. Call if you change plans and if not, they should be able to reach you with assistance using the directions left by you. Your next step is to prepare your rifle or shot gun by cleaning it thoroughly. Even a weapon that has been kept in storage should be cleaned before use. Next, you should prepare a first aid kit with all the required medications, bandages etc. in case of an accident. Carry your cell phone. You can turn it off while hunting, but it can be of tremendous help if there is an emergency to get help really quick. Keep track of the direction in which you are moving so that you can give proper instructions if help has to reach you fast.
While Hunting In The Woods
Before you step into the woods, wear your hunter orange clothing. By wearing an orange cap on your head or an orange vest on your chest, hunters can see you when they’re out hunting game and deer can’t see you. If you wear full camouflage, your movement may confuse the other hunters who may take a shot at you, mistaking you for a deer. When you are in a group, always keep the location of the others in your mind to avoid mishaps. If you are using a doe decoy, surround the area with orange tape so that the others will recognize it to be your decoy. Stay hidden on a slightly elevated position so that others do not hit you by accident.
If you happen to be tracking a wounded deer, be doubly careful because the other animals in the pack will begin to panic at the smell of the blood from one of their wounded members. Wounded animals behave unpredictably and if it senses that you are chasing it, it will try desperately to get away from you. Don’t take on the wounded deer head on. And… don’t come between the animal and a solid object. You must have the escape route clearly thought out should the animal attack you instead. In case you cannot avoid being attacked, do the next best thing and try to protect your head and chest from damage as far as possible. This can protect your vital organs and improve your chance of survival. While you may not be hunting them, you could get attacked by bears and snakes and so it pays to be on the lookout for them as well. If you have greater cognizance of your surroundings, your chances of staying safe is vastly improved. You can really enjoy your hunting expeditions by following safety rules and always acting with common sense.