5 Hunting Safety Tips

Posted by Printed Kicks Team on

5 Hunting Safety Tips

Hunting is a fun, competitive sport that anyone can do. However, it can be a dangerous hobby without the right education. Just like any outdoor activity, in hunting, there is a risk of hurting yourself. 

When firearms are at play, the extent of an injury can be much more serious. According to the International Hunter Education Association’s (IHEA) annual hunting accident incident report, the most prevalent reasons for hunting accidents include poor firearm safety practices, like not knowing what/who is beyond your target, not employing the safety belt, precariously secured firearms, and reckless handling. 

Fortunately, hunting accidents have been on the decline in recent years due to expanded access to hunter education. According to the National Safety Council, hunting results in fewer injuries per 100,000 participants than several other sports, including cycling, bowling, golf, and tennis. Many states now require individuals to complete a hunting education course before getting started. 

But there are still about 1,000 hunting accidents happening annually. Ten percent of these accidents result in fatalities. Needless to say, you should take every precaution you possibly can when you’re out there in the wild. 

Hunting accidents occur in abundance every year. And a lot of the time, they happen to experienced, responsible hunters who have been hunting for years. No matter what your experience level is, you should always prepare for the worst. 

At Printed Kicks, we are huge advocates of hunting safety and education. We believe that all hunters should thoroughly inform themselves of the risks of the sport. Whether you're a seasoned veteran or a beginner, you should always go to the farthest extent possible to ensure your safety. 

1. Firearm Safety

Firearm safety is one of the main aspects of being safe as a hunter. The majority of serious injuries can be avoided with the proper handling of your firearms.  

Firearm Handling Basics

For one, it is essential to store and transport your firearms responsibly. When moving around your guns, handle every firearm as if it were fully loaded. No matter how sure you are that you’ve emptied out your firearm, you can never be too safe.

Next, leave your actions open, and keep sporting arms in cases when you are not using your firearm. Take bolts out if necessary. If you own a shotgun, you may also want to break it down. 

Store your firearms and ammunition separately, and keep them locked away with a key. Turn on the gun or trigger locks as well. You want to store any firearms and bows in a cool, dry area to prevent moisture from building up. 

When moving around with your firearm, try to hold it with two hands, as it gives you the most control of your muzzle. When hunting, you should also wear daylight fluorescent orange, so you’re easily noticeable from far distances or in cover.

Don’t climb or jump while carrying a loaded firearm or bow. Don’t try to cross difficult terrain like ice while armed. 

How to Shoot Firearms Safely

Now, it’s time to move on to actually shooting. To start, make sure the only ammunition you have on you is the one that correctly matches the gauge or caliber of your gun. 

When you’re out there hunting, only point at what you plan to shoot. In the same vein, keep your finger off the trigger until you are completely ready to shoot. One slip of a finger can be all it takes for a catastrophe to happen. 

Don’t even raise your scope until you’ve located your target and identified what kind of animal it is. Wait until it is in ample lighting before aiming. Use binoculars to help you identify the target. 

Before pulling the trigger, identify your target and its surroundings. Make sure there is no one in your target’s vicinity that could be hit with your shot. Confirm that the backstop or background of your shot is clear. Expect your shot to ricochet and plan for it beforehand. 

Never take a shot at an animal on top of a ridge or hillside, as you can’t see what is on the other side. Never shoot at flat, hard surfaces like water, rocks, or steel, as they are likely to ricochet. It is also prudent to know how far your bullets or arrows can travel. If there is any uncertainty at all that your shot is not safe, do not take it. 

Additional Firearm Tips

Something that every hunter should know is that the eyes and ears are very vulnerable while hunting. Gunshots produce a high-decibel sound that can rupture your eardrums and damage hearing. 

In addition, firearms discharge small particles of their projectile, as well as burning gas and other residues that can hurt your eyes. Always wear safety glasses and ear protection when you’re out hunting. 

Lastly, do not fool around with firearms. Guns are not toys. They are life-threatening weapons that, if misused, could kill someone. 

Many firearm accidents occur solely because of irresponsible use. Know what kind of power you possess in your hands. Be smart.

2. Plan For Weather

There are a number of variables in hunting that you can’t control. One of them is the weather. Hunters are frequently at risk for hypothermia when it’s cold and wet. They can be at risk even in temperatures as high as 50˚F. 

When you’re out hunting, dress with multiple layers. Try not to wear moisture-retaining cotton, as this can contribute to developing hypothermia. You want to stay as dry as possible when you’re outside. A water-repelling outer layer will help with this goal. 

Always check the weather forecast before you embark on a hunting trip. Even if the forecast is ideal, prepare for a worst-case scenario. The weather can be highly unpredictable, especially in particular areas.

3. Bring a First-Aid Kit

You never know when you’re going to get hurt. Being prepared and having a first-aid kit on hand is ideal for any hunting trip. Perhaps you scraped your knee on the ground. Or maybe you got stung by a bee. Injuries like these, though minor, can negatively impact your hunting trip and prevent you from reaching your goals. 

Having some simple supplies like bandages, rubbing alcohol, and gauze will prove to be very useful in certain instances. Sometimes, a small issue can be made a bigger issue without the right means to solve it. Bring a first-aid kit with you to nip these issues in the bud and keep your hunting trip rolling. 

4. Tell Someone About Your Trip

Before you leave to go out, tell someone about your plans. Occasionally, hunters can get lost. If you find yourself in a situation where you are lost and have no cell phone reception, you’ll at least have a friend or family member to look for you if you don’t return in time. 

Tell a person exactly what time you plan on being back from your hunting trip and at what time they should start to seek help if you are unresponsive. If you get lost, they can send out a rescue team to help find you and bring you out to safety. 

5. Be Mindful of Sound

If you encounter other hunters, make some noise so they can identify your location and be aware of your presence. This can be done through talking loudly, whistling, or singing. If you hear a shot nearby, make sure those hunters know where you are. 

Once those hunters have acknowledged your presence, be respectful and reduce your noise level so they can attract animals. It is common courtesy to be quiet when a fellow hunter is trying to attract animals. 

Conclusion

Hopefully, with these five safety tips, you are better prepared to hunt safely. Though hunting is a fairly safe activity, accidents still do occur. And the consequences can be fatal. 

Luckily, as hunting education begins to expand, the number of these accidents is beginning to decrease. The more you know about hunting, and the more you prepare before trips, the better equipped you’ll be to handle potentially dangerous scenarios. 

No matter how experienced you are, you can benefit from a brush-up of safety strategies and tips. As a hunter, you should be reminding yourself constantly about how to stay safe when outdoors. 

Accidents happen all the time to veteran hunters. Sometimes, things are out of your control. Be informed about the different situations you may find yourself in, and be prepared to deal with them. The more preparation you have, the less fearful you’ll be when something happens. 

If you’re looking for some unique hunting apparel and accessories, consider checking out the Printed Kicks online store! We have the widest selection of hats, t-shirts, sweatshirts, and more. It’s important to be comfortable when hunting. It’s also nice to look good. Now you can do both! 

 

Sources

Hunting Safety Tips | Statefarm 

Tips for Staying Safe While Hunting | MU Healthcare 

Hunter Safety Tips | A Hunting Lease 


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