A hunt brings excitement and adventure into our otherwise drab and mundane life. It is a healthy outdoor recreation, exposing us to fresh air and some physical exercise. It also provides mental stimulation. Unfortunately, due to carelessness, many hunting expeditions end up in disaster, due to inappropriate handling of firearms and ammunition. The question here is what is the best prevention against careless behavior when hunting?
Here are a few useful pointers that will answer this question and ensure a safe and successful hunt.
1. Gear up on Basics
Some of the essential accessories are sometimes those that will save us from an unpleasant situation. Many of the items are just part and parcel of a hunting expedition, such as guns, ammunition, and arrows. However, it is easy to forget safety gear, warm clothing or for that matter your hunting license. Make a running list and update it before each trip.
2. Know the Law
As a non-resident, it is imperative to get a heads up on the local laws and regulations. One enthusiastic hunter woke up ready to set out in the cold, predawn darkness when his host asked him about his license. He was shocked to see that a $15 conservation stamp hadn't been paid, which could have got him into some serious trouble later on.
3. Control your Impulses
In the heat of the moment, we tend to do some dumb things that we regret later. In hunting, the phenomenon is known as ‘buck fever' when you get so excited that you might just miss your target. Missing a shot on a couple of wild turkeys is one thing but missing a shot on a charging bear can lead to some serious consequences. So, practice keeping your cool at all times.
4. While hunting off the Ground
It is easy to underestimate the danger of being at an elevation and what can go wrong. Never lose sight of the fact that you are in a vulnerable position by the risk of falling and that risk increases with the increase in the height of the tree. There are some very high trees, so take care of possible things where a ‘treestand accident’ could occur.
5. Shooting Accidents
Inappropriate and irresponsible handling of firearms can result in accidental injuries and even fatalities. A large number of hunters are killed each year because of the carelessness of other hunters. Never rely 100% on the safety of your gun which could fail, and be sure that what you see moving isn't a human being before squeezing the trigger. Also, make appropriate use of “hunters’ orange” with your gear and clothing.
6. Health Factors
Hunting is an outdoor recreation that takes a lot of physical exertion, so ensure that you are in good health. The terrain can be very challenging at times, and it is important to be physically fit. So, stay healthy by eating well, sleeping well and working out regularly, so that when you go on a hunting expedition, you will be able to cope physically with adverse weather conditions and rough terrain.
7. The Danger of Confrontations
If you are a loner and tend to explore remote areas of the woods, other than four-legged predators, you need to look out for two-legged ones as well. Even in the most isolated parts of the forest, some people live outside the law – poachers, thieves or those who engage in illicit business activities, just to name a few. Be prepared for such a situation because it is known for hunters to lose their lives as a result of such a confrontation.
8. Vehicular Accidents
Today all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) have become a popular means of transportation for hunting trips. However, too many people aren’t aware of the laws and safety measures linked to these useful vehicles. Do not allow yourself to become a victim of an ATV accident. You need to consider the woods just as you would treat a highway, in fact, you should be more cautious. Look out for yourself as well as others. Drive safe and be happy.
9. The Hazards of Water
Do not underestimate the danger that lurks in water-based expeditions. If you are in a boat or hunting alongside a water body, take adequate precautions by wearing personal flotation devices (PFDs) where required and keep rescue gear handy and follow water safety rules. Even a strong swimmer can be swept away into the whitewater of a river in full flow to disastrous results.
10. Aggressive Animals
Although a bear or a crocodile is an animal that you are likely to be wary of all the time, be warned that even the most docile animal can turn aggressive if injured. A prime example is the case of an injured buck that recently gored a hunter to death. The fatal mistake that he made was to approach the animal while it was still alive.
The Key to Safe Hunting
Could you ever imagine that disaster could be lurking around the corner in so many ways as a result of careless behavior while hunting? Fortunately, by adopting some best practices, you can be safe at all times on a hunt by just taking a few basic precautions:
You will be surprised at how easy it is to follow these guidelines and how quickly things can go wrong in the case of neglecting any particular aspect. If you are aware of what is the best prevention against careless behavior when hunting, you are sure to get the best out of each hunting trip. Stay safe, stay blessed!