Hunting this fall? The Bryant Law Center encourages you to stay safe with these tips.
Always Handle a Firearm With Extreme Caution
When handling a firearm, it is important to use extreme caution and always handle the firearm as if it is loaded.
• Point your firearm only when you plan to shoot
• Always keep your finger away from the trigger until you are ready to shoot
• Know your target and what is surrounding you before you shoot
• Open the gun’s action and check the muzzle for obstructions before shooting
Weather can change instantly in the woods, and it is important to always be prepared for cold and wet conditions to avoid hypothermia.
• Dress is layers
• Do not wear moisture-retaining cotton
• Wear an outer layer of water-repelling fabric • Check the weather before you leave
Carry a Fire-Starting Kit
Always carry a fire-starting kit with you, especially if you are hunting near or on the water. A fire can be critical for avoiding hypothermia.
Tell Someone Where You are Going and When You Will Be Gone
Always tell a family member or friend when and where you are going hunting and when you will return. It’s important to carry a compass and a cell phone. Attach the compass to your clothing so you always have it on hand, and carry your cell phone in a waterproof plastic bag if near the water.
Protect Your Pets
Do not let your dogs off-leash in a hunting area. You do not want your dog to chase after a deer, turkey, or duck only to encounter another hunter. If you hear other hunters nearby, talk loudly, whistle, or sing so they know you and your dog are there. Once you know the hunters have seen or heard you, be courteous and quiet to avoid scaring any animals nearby.
Check Your Tech
Before the hunting season begins, check your boat, motor, trailer, or any other technical equipment to make sure they are running well and batteries are fully charged.
Make sure you put safety gear, including a lifejacket, in your ATV or boat. This may include survival rations of food, rope, flare gun, a fire-starting kit, hand ax or small knife, whistle, compass, etc.