You had to complete a hunting safety course to obtain your hunting license. But, let’s face it, how much do you remember?
If you don’t know the answer, keep reading!
Even experienced hunters have a tendency not to realize that hunting can be dangerous. The entire hunting process is fraught with dangers, from spotting and stalking to firing and harvesting to field dressing, retrieval, and retrieval.
We’d like you to remember some of the things that you (hopefully!) learned in your hunting safety classes. We’d like to remind you of some of the things that you (hopefully!) learned in your hunting safety class. It’s not a comprehensive list. There are many, many situations hunters can find themselves in. However, the following list should cover the most important topics as well as the overlooked items that can help you stay safe in an emergency.
These tips are important to remember. Please visit our Contact page to let us know if you have any questions.
An experienced hunter will teach you the ropes
Over the past few years, we have seen an increase in hunting interest and are very excited about it. If you are new to hunting, it is not a good idea to do it all alone. A hunt with an experienced hunter is the best way to ensure a safe experience. It is best to go along with someone who has been there and done that before.
Ask a veteran hunter to be your mentor. You can ask your mentor questions about hunting etiquette and stalking/ambush strategies.
A word of advice: Offer to drive the distance and bring some food.
No Alcohol or Drugs–Period
It is illegal to hunt with drugs or alcohol. Anything that impairs one’s judgment or hunting ability can 1) make it easier to get into an accident or injure someone else, and 2) make it less effective. Hunting is about harvesting games quickly and painlessly. Consuming drugs or alcohol can affect your ability to hunt.
Prescription drugs can also impair your ability to focus and make smart decisions. Make sure you review the side effects of your medication to ensure they do not cause sleepiness or drowsiness. You may wish to postpone your hunting trip if you are taking meds that impair your judgment. Or, switch to meds with less dangerous side effects.
You Must Be Alert to One of the Most Dangerous Elements in Hunting:
Tree stands. Tree stands are true.
Asking someone about the most dangerous part of hunting would result in them answering “firearms” or “dangerous games.” But the majority of hunting injuries are caused by hunting stands.
Before you go out hunting, make sure to review the section on tree stands in your hunting safety manual. Pick a healthy tree, that is free from rot and damage, that is stable and sturdy. Make sure you read the specifications of the tree stand before you go hunting. Tree stands are designed for hunters with specific weights. Your weight could change during the off-season, so you might need a new stand.
Safety harnesses, safety ropes, and straps that protect against falls over 12 inches are all approved by the Southland Exchange. Regular “gear wear and tear” inspections are necessary to ensure that you don’t overlook a crack or break that could make your haven a 911 call. Safety harnesses can be time-consuming, but if you have ever been in an accident, they will tell you that it is worth it.
You can use a haul line to bring your gear up to your tree stand
After you have done your research to secure the ladder steps/tree stand, inspect all of your gear before you climb the trunk. Then, use a haul line for lifting everything. Do not climb with any weapons, gear, or clothing on your shoulders, strapped to your back, or over your shoulder.
Slow down when you are ascending. This is to avoid any glitches in your setup or dangerous conditions. Slowly moving is the best way to reach your perch. Quick movements can also be dangerous and could be detrimental to your strategy.
The “3-Point Rule” applies to all aspects of climbing: Always keep three points between your body, the object you are climbing, and your hands. This could be two hands and one foot, or two hands and one leg. The 3-Point Rule increases safety and focus, which can increase your chances of safety.
Although it may not be your preferred color for street clothes, hunter orange should still be your favorite color in-season. It alerts you to the presence of hunters and also alerts them to your presence.
There are different requirements for hunter orange in different states. You can see a list of requirements on the Hunter Education Association Website. But even if you don’t have to wear orange, it’s a great idea.
(Quick Note: Hunting in national forests requires hunter orange, which you can see here.
Firearm Safety Rules: Learn and live by them
We won’t go into detail about firearm safety in this post. But here are some basic rules: Always safely point your firearm, assess the terrain for dangers before you aim, and identify your target. And treat every firearm you have as if it were loaded and ready to use.
Share your hunting location with others
This is something you’ve probably heard a lot about in your licensing class. ): Always let multiple people know where and how you intend to hunt.
Notifying people of your location will give them a starting point in case something happens that needs a rescue, search party, or emergency contact. If you can be as precise as possible, you might even get to a compass point to help you pinpoint your destination.
Many hunters keep a GPS phone or personal locator beacon in their pockets. This will enable them to call for help when they need it.
Reliance on Electronic Devices Only
These devices have saved many lives and are amazing. However, they are electronic devices and electronic devices can fail. Sometimes they don’t work, sometimes you can’t get them, sometimes they are damaged during a hunt and sometimes they stop working altogether.
Always bring the equipment your grandparents brought, such as a map, a flashlight, and an ABC: an altimeter and barometer. Also, learn how to use them. They will add some weight to your gear, but you’ll be happy that you have them and know how to use them.
As necessary, replace gear
We should also talk about responsible replacement of old equipment while we are on the subject of gear. As a group, hunters are known for being thrifty. That’s a good thing. There is no need to spend money on new items when you can get something used.
This mentality can lead to us not replacing essential hunting gear, clothing, and tools. Anything that could compromise our safety should be repaired, discarded, replaced, or replaced.
Orange clothing can wear and fade. The jacket that fits perfectly in one season, or the scope that you relied on for accuracy, could both need attention later because your body and eyes may have changed. You have a better chance of staying safe if you can replace your gear, rather than falling prey to your thriftiness.
Be the Weatherman
Hunting trips are a time-consuming activity that requires careful planning to fit in with our work and family schedules. It can be tempting, even if the weather forecasts change, to keep to your game plan, even if you have to deal with heatstroke and frostbite.
Sometimes hunting areas can be unsafe due to severe weather conditions, such as heavy rain or extreme cold snaps. It’s ultimately up to you to make the right decision. However, in most cases, it’s better than rescheduling.
Hunt National Forests Safely and Wisely
It’s impossible to know who is hunting in your hunting area, especially if you’re hunting in public or national forests. This land is shared with hunters and hikers, but they don’t always pay the same attention to hunters. Hikers often ignore hunters who are on their property.
Remember that you are not the only one hunting in this area. Be aware of the surroundings, identify your target before you shoot, and be alert when hunting near roads or other developed areas.
Check that your maps are up-to-date
Online maps can be extremely helpful. You can zoom in on locations and plot routes, and even plan for difficult challenges. They do have their limitations. Topological changes in hunting environments are not always included in maps’ updates. And, as we mentioned, your electronic device can run out of battery or stop working.
Double-check your maps before you go out. Although it may take you longer, if you see a bridge or river that has swollen or an avalanche at a ridge, these are things that could cause you to reevaluate your plans.
Stay put, keep calm, and call for help
Call for help if you feel lost, injured, or fatigued. Shelter in place until help arrives. This is especially true if your night vision becomes blurred or you are injured. Get out there and get comfortable. It’s not something you want to do, but it’s smart.
is cool, just like everything else in life. Your rational mind can be sabotaged if you allow your fears, worries, or anxiety to take over.
Honesty about your skill level
This is an uncomfortable truth for many.
When planning a hunt, you should be truthful about your capabilities (and not overestimate them), but at the same, don’t underestimate Mother Nature’s harshness. You should choose a hunt that is within your ability. If you want to hunt in a way that is beyond your abilities, then train for it. Do the work and get in shape. Then, when you’re ready to go, make it happen.
Take the unexpected into consideration and consider insurance
Accidents can happen. That’s why they are called accidents and not plans. It can be very beneficial to learn about and possibly purchase insurance.
There are many types of hunting insurance policies, but two are the most common.
Hunting lease insurance (also known as hunting land insurance) is a form of hunting liability insurance. This insurance is typically for landowners or hunting clubs/rods and gun clubs that plan to lease their land to hunters. Leasing land can pose legal risks. An insurance policy can help to cover some of these risks.
Travel insurance. This insurance is typically for hunters and covers everything from trip cancellations to lost/stolen luggage to medical evacuations from a location.
It is a good idea to research both the land and the land you are hunting on before you lease it.
Protect your eyes and ears
Your hunting future could be at risk if you fail to make eye- and ear protection. Specialists in hearing disorders say they see cases of “Shooter’s Ear” almost every day. So invest in inserts and plugs to protect your ears.
Eye protection measures are equally important. Safety glasses can protect your eyes from ricocheting material and prevent dirt, powder, and/or dust from reaching your eyes. This is especially important if your firearm malfunctions. Opt for lenses made of impact-resistant polycarbonate. Choose colors that improve depth perception.
If you’re a Bowhunter…
Make sure to choose your gear carefully and that you are not “overbowed”. Each state has a minimum draw weight. You must adhere to it. However, if you cannot draw an 80-pound bow, you shouldn’t use it for hunting. It might be fast and powerful, but it will not give you accurate shots.
Make sure all your gear is in good condition. Keep your broadheads sharp (and careful when sharpening them), your quiver and stabilizers well-placed until your scope, scope, and riser stop bouncing.
Keep Your Dog Safe!
Be aware that every state has its own hunting rules. Before we get into the details, it is important to remember that each state has its hunting department.
If you are permitted to hunt with dogs, these are some “best practices”. Hunter orange is a good way to let hunters know that your dog is not a game-catching dog.
Make sure you have a fully stocked first aid kit
Wide Open Spaces has a great list of things you should have in your first aid kit.
This is why we keep hunting with a first aid kit. They don’t stock up on the items they use, which can lead to a huge problem over time. Over time, small cuts and nicks can become serious injuries. The supplies in your kit may run low or even disappear completely.
It’s important to make sure your first aid kit is included in your gear when you are getting it ready. Every time you go out, make sure to review the contents of your FIRST AID KIT and refill it every so often. This applies regardless of where you are hunting, even if you are just going to a tree stand 100 yards away from the trail. Always have a full-stocked first aid kit.
Revisit Your Learning Materials
Hunting licenses are required in every state. To obtain a hunting license, you must complete a safety training course. This is how it should be.
Just because you have passed your hunting class does not mean that you are done with your learning materials. You should revisit the class materials every season to brush up on firearm safety, local hunting laws, and how you can be a responsible, ethical hunter.
This is especially true for those who are new to hunting. Ask any veteran hunter and they will tell you that there is always more to learn throughout your hunting career. So, make sure you are revisiting your basics. This will make you a better hunter and more efficient.
Be Extra Careful When Hunting Solo
We mentioned that if you are new to hunting you should go with someone or a group of people. Even if you have a lot of experience hunting, it is possible to go solo. You have no backup in case something does happen. This may not seem like a problem if it’s minor and easily fixed, but if you have to call for help immediately, you are only as safe and secure as the help you have. You should be extra cautious when hunting alone. Make sure your equipment, communications equipment, first aid kit, and everything else are in top shape.
First job: Keep your children safe
Hunting is a family tradition. We hope it continues to be so. It’s hard to get into hunting as a child if you haven’t done it before. Parents should teach their children the basics. You have a lot of things to think about when taking your child hunting. Here are some tips: 1. Safety first. We recommend that you teach safety on your first hunting trip before you ever consider harvesting an animal. Don’t tell them that they must harvest animals before they can hunt. Even the most skilled hunters sometimes come home empty-handed. That’s okay. It’s an emotionally draining task to harvest an animal. Children often feel a strong emotional response after the event. They don’t hate hunting or hate you. They are just trying to get through the situation (just like we are). A little patience and understanding can make a big difference.
Let’s not forget another important point before we end: while your children may be listening to what you say, they are watching what you do. You are teaching your children by being mindful of what you do.
Real Tree has an excellent article on the topic that you can share with your children.
Take extra care when handling harvested game
While non-hunters may think that harvesting an animal can be dangerous, they often forget about the dangers of field dressing. Safety measures include wearing rubber gloves or latex gloves, using sharp knives, and not touching skin. Avoid direct contact with skin. If you are bowhunting, be careful as you remove your game’s internal organs. Although it is rare, broadheads can sometimes become lodged in an animal’s body. This is doubly true for mechanical wide heads that have moving parts.
Disposable gloves for butchering should be burned or buried after you have finished. After washing your hands with soap and water, rinse them with warm water for 20 seconds. Finally, clean your butchering tools using bleach.
Keep fit to avoid injury
We can picture a lot of scary things when we hear the term “hunting injuries”. These include bear bites, punctures, avalanches, and bar bites. All of these are possible, but most hunters will be more concerned about the less serious injuries such as a pulled muscle and a sprained ankle.
To keep your body strong and lean, you should adopt a year-round exercise routine. You can do bear crawls, shoulder carries and tire drags, flips, pulls and weighted steps-ups as well as trail runs with burpees. Whatever gets your heart pumping, helps you lose weight and keeps you agile.
Take Extra Care with the Water
As a safety precaution, wear a life jacket (orange may be unnecessary in your state but it never hurts). Also, file a “float plan” with someone who discloses the area of the waterway that you plan to travel.
Take extra care when loading gear. To ensure that the boat doesn’t tip, get into the habit to inspect everything before loading it.
Take extra caution when hunting at night
You will find that most states have their laws regarding hunting and what game you are allowed to hunt. However, if you plan to hunt at night, make sure you visit the area during daylight hours to get to know the area. After all, you won’t be the only hunter to see a sinkhole or impediment in the dark. Avoid using white light to hunt at night, as it could scare the game and make them more dangerous. Consider a hunting headlamp with either a red filter or a green filter or a baseball cap with a red/green LED. Even if you have a limited budget, there are many night-observant devices available. However, hunters can be safer if they are vigilant and cautious. Keep your hunting buddies close by you and be aware of where they are.
Avoid hunting with people you have never hunted before
When hunting with new friends, or if you are interacting with hunters in a hunting setting, be very attentive to their behavior. It might seem that everyone has taken safety classes and received their hunting licenses. This would make it appear that everyone is knowledgeable and does things responsibly. Unfortunately, this is not always true. Many hunters are negligent. They can make hunting difficult and even dangerous.
Keep an eye out for people you are just getting to know. To help someone understand, be diplomatic and kind. If worse happens and you feel your partner’s behavior is going to lead to an accident, go back. Hunting trips will continue to be plentiful, so it’s not worth risking your safety.
Think Outside the Box to Face Emergencies
Toothpaste is great for keeping your teeth white and clean. But did you know that toothpaste can also be used to soothe the pain from a bee sting? This is true and just one way you can make use of your gear. Ideas hunters have found solutions in times of crisis that are quick and easy to use as a substitute for their gear.
Look at your gear and try to find the right piece to fit your needs. You can make your duct tape a lifesaver by keeping a roll of it in your bag. You can use it to repair equipment, start fires, or even as a butterfly stitch for wounds that have been left untreated.
Get a healthy understanding of how badly Mother Nature can mess you up
This was something we mentioned earlier but we will mention it again: Mother Nature, despite her maternal title, doesn’t care much about you. She can make you miserable. Everybody thinks they will be safe or that they can find a way out of dangerous situations. But every year, thousands upon thousands of intelligent, capable, and able-bodied people die.
It’s not our intention to make you feel down about it. We also don’t wish to discourage you from going on your next hunting trip. But, it is our responsibility to teach safety. Hunting is dangerous and you must be safe and responsible at all costs.
Okay, that was a bit dark. Let’s close it with a happy trip. Keep it light!
Hunting can be a very satisfying activity, and it can be shared with those you love. Hunting has been a part of human history since the dawn of time. It is a way to strengthen family bonds and enjoy the natural world around us. Enjoy it with those you love and share it with them.
What Did We Forget?
We can’t give you a complete list of safety tips. The situations you will face while hunting is as varied as grains of sand. Be prepared, be calm, and be smart. Your mind is your greatest tool.