When the leaves begin to change color and temperatures start to cool off it means one thing – fall is here. For a lot of people, fall means the beginning of hunting season. Hunting season is a time where many families and individuals flock to nearby forests and parks to take part in an activity that has more often than not been a part of their family fall tradition for years. While hunting is an activity that many people take part in, it’s important to review hunting safety tips for both hunters and non-hunters to ensure you and your family stay safe throughout this hunting season.
Safety Tips for Hunters:
- Review and follow the four basic rules of firearm safety which include treating every firearm as if it were loaded, pointing the firearm only where you plan to shoot, keeping your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot, and clearly identifying your target and what is beyond your target before shooting.
- Review the weather before you go. Make sure you have a clear understanding of what the weather is going to be like and dress accordingly. Hunters are at risk when they expose themselves to the elements for long periods of time, so make sure to dress for the weather and to bring a change of clothes just in case inclement weather occurs.
- Let someone know where you’re going. It’s always a good idea to tell someone what your plan is. If you’re going to be out in a remote part of the woods for extended periods of time, alert a friend or family member of where you’ll be and when you expect to return.
- Bring a basic survival kit. You never know what is going to happen and it’s best to be over prepared rather than underprepared. In your survival kit, you should include a first aid kit, rope, knife, matches, water, and anything else you can think of that would be helpful in an emergency situation.
Safety Tips for Non-Hunters:
- Wear bright colors. If you’re going to be in an area where hunting occurs, be sure to wear bright colors that stand out from your surroundings. A good option is bright hunter orange.
- Make yourself known. If you hear shooting or are in an area where hunting regularly occurs make noise to alert hunters that you are in the vicinity.
- Protect your pet. Tie a brightly colored bandana around your dog’s neck so that they stand out from their surroundings. Also, keep them on a leash in hunting areas so that if a gunshot goes off and startles them or if they see a deer they aren’t able to run away.
Following these hunting tips will help to ensure you have a fun and safe hunting season. For more tips and hunting safety guidelines that are local to your area, search for your local government’s website about hunting safety.