Hunting is an exciting outdoor pastime for many in the United States. To be a good hunter, you need to be skilled, focused, patient and more importantly, careful. Accidents are commonplace while hunting. Every year, thousands of hunters endure injuries. It is, therefore, important that hunters educate themselves on the safety rules during hunting.
The International Hunter Education Association (IHEA) has an online course that you may complete at your own convenience. But this course can only act as a supplement to a traditional hunter safety program. To ensure complete safety, follow the below mentioned tips.
Tip #1: Hunt on leased lands
Hunting on leased lands makes you feel more comfortable and confident about the sport. Leased land owners officially permit a hunter or group of hunters insurance to hunt on their lands for a specified period. Thus, it makes your hunting less problematic. Moreover, it is mandatory to hunt on leased lands if you want to take hunting lease liability insurance, which protects you against third party liability claims.
Tip #2: Be careful while using the hunting structures
Hunting structures like tree stands enable you to have an elevated view of the surroundings. Tree stands are productive hunting tools, but they can also be dangerous. Old and weak wooden stands may fall down and cause injury. Also, make sure that the tree stands are in good position before climbing on to them.
Even while getting on and off a tree stand, use a safety belt. Don’t carry arms while climbing, instead, use a rope to raise and lower guns (unloaded). Once you are on the tree stand, always know where you are standing in relation to the edge of the platform and always wear a safety harness.
Tip #3: Wear hunter orange
Hunter orange is standard safety equipment for hunters. Hunters are advised to wear hunter orange as it prevents other hunters from mistaking them for an animal. Many studies have shown that people who wear hunter orange are less likely to be shot than those who do not. Moreover, animals like deer are less sensitive to colors like orange and red – making it difficult for them to spot you.
Tip #4: Always hunt with a partner/in a group
Hunting in group is more fun and thrilling than hunting alone. It also helps you stay safe. It is better to hunt with at least one partner, because if either of you have met with an accident, the other can help. Without a partner, you will be left alone during an accident. If you like to have a lonely hunting experience, at least let someone know where you are hunting and when you are planning to return.
Tip #5: Handle firearms properly
One of the most obvious threats that haunt hunters is firearms. Hunters should always handle the firearm with extreme caution and should follow firearm safety practices without fail. Do not load your rifle until you are ready to use it. If the gun is loaded, always keep your finger off the trigger and never point the firearm at anything unless you are prepared for a shot. Also keep the gun’s muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
Tip #6: Be sure of your target before firing
Many times, you will find your target after waiting for several hours. You may feel excited to shoot it, but you need to keep your cool and aim at your target properly before you pull the trigger. Ensure that your target is the animal you are looking for and not another hunter. Considering all these things, you may miss your target once in a while, but you will definitely prevent accidents and injuries.