Hunting Safety Tips
Hunting is an exiting, leisure activity that may be done alone or in groups depending of the own preferences and the type of animal. It's certainly a very pleasurable way to expend time in contact with nature but there are also several risks to keep in mind when out on the woods!
Keep in mind that you are dealing with deadly weapons, sometimes dangerous creatures and time to time with other people on the hunting ground even when you went out alone, thus to be aware of danger and comply with all safety measures is a key to stay away from problems.
Despite many of these tips are just common sense, it's necessary to be aware of them and practice each one conciuosly until they become an habit. Only that way we may be sure that no unsafe behavior will put us on danger.
First of all, be sure that all your equipment and guns are working properly. Defective apparels as well guns withour proper maintenance are one of the main causes of problems when hunting; thus be sure that everything is working fine before leaving home.
In case you are using new equipment, be sure to try it first on a safe area because once out, if anything goes wrong, you'll be far from help.
Even when stealth is required to chase your catch, be sure to use also something allowing other hunters to identify you as an human being, an orange garment is always usefull to avoid been the target of anyone else.
NEVER point others with your gun; firearms must be always considered as loaded and dangerous thus, aim only to your target and be sure the barrel is pointing up when you are hiking or waiting.
If you need to climb, it's always a good idea to have a hunting partner to keep you gun while you climb, otherwise an accident might occur, especially if you fall down.
When you find a target BE SURE that's an animal; in case of doubt NEVER FIRE since you could be shooting another people; on the other hand, NEVER shoot an animal when another person is near it or in the shooting line.
If you are using high power ammo, it's mandatory to be sure that no one is behind the animal because it could be a victim if you miss your target. In case of long range shots, use binoculars to be sure no one is there; if you are not sure, just avoid shooting.
Be always alert and aware of what is around you; the danger may come from the terrain, animals on the area and other hunter, so get distracted is not an option; on the other hand, never use drugs or alcohol while hunting since your senses may be affected, exposing you to danger.
Remember to transport and store ammunition and guns separately; just in case something goes wrong.
If you are out alone, let know a member of your family or a friend of yours the area you'll be as well your planned hiking course and time out on the woods (one day, a couple of days, a week), thus in case something goes wrong, there will be more chances to receive help.
If you are planning to use high stands, be sure to count with a safety harness to avoid being hurt after a fall.
Once you have shot an animal, be sure it's really dead before handling the body; remember that some creatures play dead as a defense mechanisms and may attack you once you get close enough.
Finally, when you are going back home, check all your equipment and apparel just to be sure that no dangerous insect (spider, scorpion, etc) nor snake have chosen your equipment as a new home. After all, deadheads are not welcome!
Making your hunting trip safe is the best guarantee of a happy end!