For many outdoorsmen throughout the country, fall means hunting season. So, it’s a good time to remind those who enjoy outdoor recreation, such as hunters, anglers, hikers and campers, how to safely enjoy their activities, while still respecting nature and anyone else who happens to be out exploring. Whether you hunt for sport or sustenance, it’s always important to remember to be patient, well-prepared and cautious.
Hunting can be very dangerous, for obvious reasons, and it results in hundreds of accidents and injuries each year. While not all injuries are the result of firearm mishaps, negligent accidents still sometimes occur. Training and education provide hunters the skills to safely use their weapons without incident, but poor planning and dangerous animals are also hazards that can put lives at risk.
It's important for hunters and non-hunters alike to be aware of the potential dangers that exist before heading into the woods. So, here are five hunting season safety tips from Hupy and Abraham, to keep in mind when enjoying the outdoors this fall.
- Identify hunting seasons and lands open to hunting and plan accordingly. Check your state’s DNR website for the dates that hunting is allowed and for what types of game. If not hunting, you may not want to walk or camp in popular hunting areas during these times.
- Wear bright clothing (like hunter blaze orange). Whether you are hunting or not, choose to wear colors that stand out whenever you go exploring during hunting season. Remember to provide your dog with bright colors as well.
- If not hunting, make yourself known. Whistle, shuffle or carry on a conversation to alert hunters to your presence. If you hear shooting, raise your voice and let hunters know that you are in the vicinity. But, once other hunters are aware of your presence, don’t make unnecessary noise that can disturb game.
- Never approach or attract any wild animal, because even deer can be dangerous. Stillness should not be equated with a lack of aggression. Even if they appear passive, all animals deserve space and respect. Be especially cautious of predators.
- Always adhere to the four basic rules of firearm safety. This is easily remembered using the TAB-K formula:
T = Treat every firearm as if it is loaded.
A = Always point the muzzle in a safe direction.
B = Be certain of your target and what’s beyond it.
K = Keep your finger outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot.