The beginning of fall also brings the onset of the hunting season. Hunters across the country are no doubt getting ready to set out to hunt deer, game birds, rabbits, and other animals. However, before anyone heads out on the hunt, it’s important that they take the necessary safety precautions so that no one is put in danger. The Indiana Conservation Office is offering a series of tips to hunters to ensure that safety remains paramount.
Gun safety is absolutely vital, as even one simple mistake could lead to a potential tragedy. Hunters should follow three golden rules in order to make sure they’re not putting themselves or any fellow companions in danger. First, only point the gun in an area where it’s safe to do so. Even if you think your gun isn’t loaded, keep the barrel focused away from fellow human beings, as you never know when a simple oversight has occurred.
That leads right into the next point, which is to never take for granted the fact that your gun isn’t loaded. Maybe it was let out of your sight for a second, maybe you miscounted your shells. If you’re not in the process of using your gun, open up the action so that everyone around will feel secure in the knowledge that the firearm is indeed not loaded. Then, when you do get ready to fire, make sure that what you’re firing at is in fact an animal. A brief rustling or glimpse of movement isn’t sufficient reason to pull the trigger. If you can’t verify that what you’re shooting at is an animal beyond the shadow of a doubt, then hold off until you can.
It’s advisable to go out hunting with someone else so that if something goes wrong you’ll have another person there to help avert disaster. Whether you’re with another person or not, though, it’s vital to wear bright orange clothing so that you won’t be mistaken for fair game. Your companion won’t have to worry about accidentally targeting you, and neither will any other hunters sharing the area.
If you do go out alone, there are a few preparatory steps you can take to protect yourself. There should be someone who knows where you’re at and when you’re expected to return. That way, if you don’t turn up on time, someone will know that something is amiss. You should also carry a cellphone with you that you can use to get in touch with people back home should an emergency occur. One other piece of equipment you should never leave home without if you’re a deer hunter is a safety harness that can arrest your fall if you’re climbing into a stand.