Every year more than 40% of the population of the United States enjoys some form of wilderness activity.
For some that’s fishing, for others it is hunting, and still more enjoy simple hiking and sightseeing. If you’re going to be joining those who love hunting, here are a few hunting safety tips that you should keep in mind.
There’s no better way to feel a part of the wilderness than hunting. Watching from a concealed position as animals act out their regular lives is an incredible experience. As long as you remember to stay safe, you’ll never have as much fun as you will while hunting.
1. Firearm Safety Is Serious
A major cause of accidents during hunting comes from the unsafe use of firearms. Around 1,000 people every year across North America get injured or killed in firearms-related hunting accidents. Accidents will happen, but with some attention to detail, you can reduce your chances of injury.
Always treat a hunting rifle as if it is loaded. Never point a gun towards anyone or anything you don’t intend to shoot. Check, and then double-check to make sure a weapon has no bullets before storing it.
It can be fun to have a drink while out on a hunting trip but put away the guns before the alcohol comes out. Gun safety is more than not pointing a gun at people. It is always being mindful of the location and condition of your weapon.
If you want to be safer, consider taking classes offered by the NRA and other organizations.
2. Know Your Backstop
As important as keeping your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to fire, is knowing your backstop. This term, backstop, relates to what is behind the area in which you are shooting. Bullets will travel for a long time in a straight line before they run out of energy.
Make sure that you are shooting in a safe direction. During hunting season there can be other hunters anywhere. Make sure you aren’t aiming in the direction of another hunter.
Shooting against hills, berms, and other geographical features is always a safe bet.
3. Wear Proper Clothing
Remember when taking a hunting trip that you could be going into remote wilderness. Even if you are staying closer to home, wear proper clothing for the environment you are going to be in. Cold, wet people are far more likely to suffer injury than those who are warm and dry.
Having safe clothing also relates to the colors that you’re wearing. In many places blaze orange vests are required because they are easy to spot in the wilderness. You may think you need full camouflage to catch your prey, but the reality is that animals don’t see like we do.
4. Know the Area
A lot of problems can occur in areas where you are completely unfamiliar. Remember that a lot of wilderness areas don’t get cell signals, so you can’t rely on your phone. Learn the topography, prominent landmarks, and other easy to gather information.
It is more than the environment, you should also be aware of the wildlife in the area. Besides what you intend to shoot, there could be other species to pay attention to. Depending on the season you hunt in, it could be bears, snakes, or other potentially dangerous creatures.
A hunting trip often puts us in areas far different than where we often find ourselves. The more comfortable with your surroundings you are, the safer you will be.
5. Have a Safety Plan
No matter how careful we are, accidents will happen. It could be something as simple as getting separated from your group, or something as bad as breaking your leg. When bad things happen, the better prepared you are the safer you will be.
Have a checklist of what you need. If you have a plan to follow your chances of making it out of a bad situation increase dramatically. This plan should cover what you need to do in case of the most common emergencies.
The most common emergency in any outdoor adventure is getting lost. One of the other most common injuries is becoming injured. Start from the most likely scenarios and work down from there when making your plan.
6. Don’t Go Alone
There’s safety in numbers, and that is more than just an old saying. Always have at least one other person with you, a hunting buddy. If for whatever reason you can’t have another person with you, make sure others know your plan and location.
This way if something happens you’ll either have someone there to help you out or people waiting for you. Emergency intervention has saved many lives. Even if you have friends with you, make sure everyone shares their plans with family and other friends who aren’t coming.
7. The Essentials
There are some standard things anyone going out into the wilderness should have on them, hunting or otherwise. Don’t forget these things, they could save your life. We’ve already covered the clothing you should be wearing, but don’t be afraid to take extra with you.
A medical kit, compass, cell phone, water, food if necessary, and rain slickers are all basic items that you can fit in your pocket. Store essential items in a waterproof bag if possible, that way they don’t get soaked if you get into trouble. A survival blanket is another great item to have on you at all times.
These things don’t take up much space, nor do they weigh much. Having items like this can mean the difference between getting rescued and not.
Hunting Safety Tips
There’s no end to the fun you will have once you embrace the wilderness and get out there. There are tons of hunting safety tips, so make sure to read up on the area you’re going to and what to expect. If you need any questions about high-quality gear, contact us.
BAC Tactical is committed to making sure you have the protective clothing that you need.