We’re all aware of the saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. When it comes to hunting, safety tips are practically uncountable. Regardless of what you’re on the hunt for, sticking to a few basics can help you get through initial hunting episodes and you can gradually learn from experience.
Before you head out on your next trip, give these basic tips a read for safe hunting.
1. Use Well Fitted Eye and Ear Protection
Let’s face it, shooting will be loud and you can risk damaging your ears in a hunting episode. While it may not be sudden, you can gradually lose your hearing ability if your ears aren’t protected right. Coming to selecting the best ear protection, it would be a great idea to invest in electronic ear protection.
Compared to conventional ear muffs, electronic ear protectors reduce the high pitched sounds to a comfortable level, without compromising on the low pitched sounds around you. This allows you to have a conversation with your hunting partner conveniently and listen to other sounds that may warn you of danger.
Apart from ear protection, wearing shooting glasses to protect your eyes is equally essential. Not only do shooting glasses allow you to improve target accuracy by providing greater contrast, but keep your eyes safe from all potential hazards. This includes spent cartridges ejected from guns, ricochet and even gunpowder that may blow back.
When selecting eye protector for shooting, poly-carbonate has to be the strongest material which does not shatter with high impact sounds. Complete wrap around glasses is the safest option when it comes to style since they leave no gap for any kind of unwanted particles to enter your eyes.
When your firearms aren’t in use, its best to keep them unloaded. Experts suggest that you use trigger locks and guards when your arms are not being used. If you have a loaded gun in your case, do not attempt jumping or crossing terrains or anything that may press the trigger on its own.
The only ammunition you should be carrying is of the caliber you’ll be shooting. Two-handed guns are the best option when it comes to hunting, considering the control and speed they have to offer, allowing you to shoot quickly in thick weed growth and bushes as well. It’s best to know your gun well before you head out since that will give you a fair idea of its mechanics.
Lastly, do not forget to clear your gun barrel from all kinds of obstructions and blockage since that may lead to a buildup of pressure resulting in barrel bursting.
3. Wear Bright Clothing
Probably one of the most important thing you’ll need to do is mark your presence there. In order to do that, you need to wear appropriate clothing. Wearing as much orange as possible will keep you from becoming the target of another hunter.
To avoid being mistaken for any hunter’s prey, you need to make sure that you wear colors that are not easily found in nature. Lastly, the state law also requires you to wear bright orange which is visible from all sides when worn.
The most common injuries for hunters are deep cuts, gunshot wounds, and punctures so your first aid kit should have sufficient equipment to control blood flow. For this, you’ll be needing pressure bandages, sterile gauze and a bright colored tourniquet which may assist you in seeking help when in trouble.
Among other items, keep Aspirin for an episode of cardiac arrest, band-aids, Tylenol for sprains and sting pads in case you may get stung.
5. Store Guns and Ammunition Away from Kids’ Reach
Accidental shootings are a common occurrence which is why you need to go an extra mile with safety measures. Guns and other weapons are of great interest to kids, so you’ll need to be more creative when it comes to thinking of places to keep guns and ammunition when on a hunting vacation.
Keep guns and ammunition in gun cabinets which should be further stored in trigger locks. Do not leave a labeled key to your gun cabinets in an area approachable by kids since they’re always on the lookout for such stuff.
6. Get Your Vehicle Checked
If you’re on a short one-day hunting trip, you need to ensure that your vehicle is in perfect working condition. Get complete car maintenance and check before you take it hunting, to avoid any inconveniences. Depending on how far you’ll be traveling, keep the necessary tools, including spare tires, tire changing kit and tow strap etc.
The last thing you want is to get stuck in the woods with little or no help at all. Therefore it’s essential to be self-sufficient on a hunting spree.
7. Let Someone Know of Your Location
Its best to travel with a partner but if it isn’t possible for some reason, make sure that someone back home is aware of your whereabouts. This includes the exact location and the time duration for which you’ll be absent. giving a rough idea of how soon or late it could take you to get back can definitely decrease the odds of you ending without help when in trouble.
8. Tree Stand Safety
Since a lot of shooting in the woods is next to, behind or on top of a tree, you need to be conscious of your tree stand safety. A single injury may cost you your entire hunting career, or even your life in some cases. Tree stand safety is essential for three basic reasons: Firstly, it protects you against a variety of situations where you could hurt yourself.
Secondly, it keeps your hunting game better by letting you see better and lastly, reduces the amount of human scent on the ground, so you can catch your prey nearby.
To prevent you from taking a fall any deeper than a foot, it is advised that you attach a strong rope to your harness and the tree you’ll be climbing. Always carry a communication device such as a walkie-talkie with you when climbing a tree so that you may be able to communicate your exact location when in trouble.