Hunting safety is one of the most important skills you can learn and practice. It’s something every hunter should take seriously and always keep sight of.
Before firing, ensure the muzzle is pointing safely and handle every handgun as though it were loaded. Keep your trigger finger outside the trigger guard until you’re ready to fire.
Always Carry a First Aid Kit
When hunting, the chances of an injury increase due to the terrain and weather. A first aid kit should be included in your hunt pack.
A first aid kit should be customized to your needs by considering the types of injuries that could occur in the wilderness, pre-existing health conditions, and how long you will be out.
A laceration from field dressing an animal is one of the most common hunter injuries, so it is essential to apply a tourniquet properly. It is also wise to carry a supply of sterile needles, bandages, gloves, and disinfectants.
Know Your Gun
An experienced hunter knows the safe direction to point a gun’s muzzle.
Before hunters like Rock Bordelon, On the Road take their shots, they must positively identify their target and know what lies beyond it. Shooting at sounds or movements is a dangerous lapse in judgment.
If you are hunting with a partner, maintain sight of one another and always keep firearms pointed in a safe direction. It is also a good idea to keep the actions of guns open when they are not in use. Also, store ammunition in cases and away from guns. This helps prevent unauthorized people from accessing the weapons.
Wear the Right Gear
The correct clothing and equipment will help you avoid the most common hunting injuries. Wearing clothing that blends with the surroundings helps you conceal yourself, while a good pair of hunting socks will make your feet comfortable and allow you to creep without alerting the game to your presence.
It’s a good blaze orange coat or jacket that meets state requirements. It is also an excellent idea to check all gear and clothing for signs of damage before a hunt. Items that could compromise safety should be repaired or discarded.
Finally, it’s crucial always to climb and hunt sober. Drinking can impair coordination, hearing, vision, and judgment and increases the risk of injury.
Know Your Environment
Hunting is a great outdoor activity, but it comes with its own set of risks. Always put safety first and remember that hunters must be alert, mindful of their surroundings, and patient. Make sure your firearm’s safety is on until you are ready to shoot, and wear bright clothing that makes you easily identifiable as a human. If you are walking on refuges where hunting is permitted, let someone know where you will be and when you plan to return.
Avoid building hunting stands or blinds on sensitive habitats. Respect private property owners, recreational trail users, campers, and historical or archaeological sites.
Know Your Limits
Before shooting, the hunter is responsible for being sure of a target and what lies beyond it (people, livestock, buildings, roads, or other equipment). A ricocheting bullet or arrow can cause severe injury or death to others.
Practice at home with a friend or at the range to gauge your ability to shoot distances accurately. Practicing climbing and descending from tree stands is also a good idea to avoid suspension trauma.
Be sober for hunting and avoid alcohol or drugs that impair coordination, hearing, vision, or judgment before and during a hunt. Store weapons separately and out of the reach of children.
Know Where You Are
When hunting, always let someone know where you are and when you plan to return. This can help if something goes wrong during your trip and will allow someone to find you if needed.
When handling a firearm, never assume it is unloaded. Always treat every gun as if it is loaded, and be sure to keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction until you intend to shoot.
Be mindful of other hunters utilizing your area when on public land. Remember, blaze orange makes it easy for others to spot you while in the woods. Keep in mind that a barrel obstruction could cause severe injury or death.