Hunting is a thrilling hobby for millions of people across the globe. In fact, non-hunters may be wide-eyed to learn just how popular the sport is. A recent report from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found that 11.5 million Americans participated in hunting in 2016. Many hunters spend a lifetime hunting without ever suffering an accident or injury. However, hunting can be a dangerous sport, which only highlights the need for hunters to emphasize safety at all times.
It’s essential that hunters exercise caution with their firearms at all times. Firearms should always be considered loaded, even when they’re not. This approach should apply while hunting and while at home. Maintaining such a mindset can help hunters avoid dangerous, potentially deadly mishaps should they mistakenly believe a firearm is not loaded when it is. When hunting, only point the firearm when you plan to shoot, making sure to keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot. Only shoot when a target is clearly identifiable and you’re certain about what is beyond the target.
Weather and Gear
The right attire can protect hunters from Mother Nature and their fellow sportsmen. Weather can be unpredictable during hunting season. Hunters should always check the forecast before leaving home, making sure to dress for the weather. Even if the forecast calls for agreeable weather, hunters could be at the mercy of Mother Nature should the weather unexpectedly change. As a result, it behooves hunters to prepare for cold, wet weather, which could put them at risk of hypothermia if they are not dressed properly. A water-repelling outer layer can protect hunters in wet conditions, and it’s also ideal to dress in layers. To lower your risk of injuries suffered at the hands of other hunters, avoid colors and patterns that blend into natural surroundings. Such colors can include earth tones, blacks and browns. Animal patterns may confuse fellow hunters into thinking you’re an animal, so avoid these as well.
Staying in Touch
Hunters, especially those who plan to go it alone, should always let others know of their plans before going on a hunting excursion. Sharing plans can help rescue teams find you should you suffer an injury on your trip and prove incapable of returning to your campsite or vehicle without assistance. Let others know when you plan to return and indicate your plans to call or text them when you arrive back at your vehicle. This way they can promptly alert the appropriate authorities should you not contact them on time.
Millions of people across the globe enjoy the sport of hunting. Hunting trips are even more enjoyable when hunters prioritize safety.