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Be the hunter, not the hunted - Hunting Safety Tips everyone should know
by: Rebecca Blain
Out of all of the sports participated in around the world, hunting is considered to be one of the most dangerous. Due to this, many safety precautions must be made to ensure your safety, as well as the safety of those around you. This cannot be emphasized enough, as your life and the lives of your companions must be protected when you are going hunting, whether it is coon hunting, deer hunting, moose hunting or simple fowl hunting. There are several categories of hunting safety you should keep in mind, which consist of the following:
Having the proper weapon and discount hunting supplies to go hunting is the first consideration you must make when preparing for a trip. If you are planning to hunt deer, you need to make certain that you have a gun or bow appropriate for deer. A standard pistol, for example, is considered an inappropriate gun type for deer hunting, while a crossbow or rifle are considered the right gun for the job. Taking a moose hunting rifle deer hunting would be considered inappropriate, as these guns are too powerful.
In addition to having the proper style of gun, you need to make certain you have everything you require to clean and field dress the animal you are hunting. This prevents unneeded trips back to your truck or other vehicle. You should also make certain you are wearing the proper clothing for the trip. This usually consists of the bright orange vests and hats, as well as other brightly colored clothing so other hunters can see you easily. While camouflage may help prevent the deer from seeing you, it also prevents other hunters from seeing you. This can result in your death, as other hunters may mistake you for a deer or another animal.
When you are hunting with a gun, there are several things that you need to keep in mind. The safety on the weapon should be on at all times, unless you are preparing to fire at your quarry. The gun should always be pointed away from you and others, and never at your own feet. Being shot in the foot is highly uncomfortable, and requires surgery to repair the delicate bones. This precaution should be taken regardless of whether or not the safety on the weapon is on or off. Should the safety fail, it is much safer to have the gun misfire where no one will be hit.
The second primary consideration you should make is always taking proper care of your weapon. A well cared for weapon should not misfire or present unnecessary risk to yourself and your companions. A gun that has not had this level of care runs risk of misfiring, having a jammed barrel, or worse.
Hunting with a bow is something that takes a lot of skill and energy to do. On account of this, there are just as many, if not more precautions a bow hunter must take in able to hunt safely. Before you go hunting with your bow, you need to make certain that your bow has been thoroughly checked. If the string or wire used on your bow looks frayed, replace it before you are out in the field. While a snapped bow string usually only causes mild welts or cuts, it is always best to have equipment in top shape before going go on your trip. If you are using a bow, you will want to make certain that you have the proper arm guards with you, and that you are wearing them when you notch your arrow and are preparing to kill the animal you are hunting. This helps protect you from injuries due to snapping strings or string rebound.
Another aspect of bow safety that you need to keep in mind is making certain that you have a bow that fits your strength. While being able to pull a heavier bow is considered a badge of honor among many hunters, pulling a bow that is too heavy for you can cause painful injuries that can take a lot of time to heal. If you insist on pulling a heavier bow so you can kill larger prey such as deer, you should take the time and care to work up slowly to the heavier bow. This can help prevent strained or torn muscles in the future.
Hunting Safety Courses
Before you go out hunting, especially if you have not been hunting in a while, you should make certain you participate in a hunting safety course in your area. Safety courses go over gun safety and handling, as well as teach or remind you the basics to the care and precautions that should be taken. Many of these courses cover hunting laws in your area, which you should be familiar with before you go hunting. Hunting safety courses are also good for those individuals that do not hunt, but live in an area where a lot of hunting takes place.
Seasonal Hunting Safety
In some areas, especially heavily forested areas, seasonal hunting safety is something that you should always keep in mind. As many hunters are out in force during specific hunting seasons, you should always make certain that you are wearing bright, easily seen clothing so that hunters can easily identify that you are not a deer or another type of animal that they are hunting for. This applies whether or not you are a hunter, and especially if you are not on your own property. When hunting, you should always have permission from the land owners to hunt on their property, so that you will not be in an area where there are likely to be children or individuals that could be accidentally shot by either gun or arrow.
If you keep all of these things in mind, you should be able to go hunting without putting yourself or others at risk of injury or death. If you live in an area where hunting is popular, knowing hunting safety rules can protect you as well, as knowledge is protection when it comes to weapons of any kind.