Hunting is enjoyed by many and being safe while outdoors is a top concern
Hunting can get us outside with family and friends, but safety concerns should always be on top of our minds, but the number of accidents involved can raise some concerns.
“It is really important to be mindful of the way you handle your firearm, as well as the people that are hunting around you. Whenever you are close to other people, you have to be mindful of where your fingers are as far as around the trigger guard. But, also the people that you are interacting with and hunting with where their fingers are and where their muzzles are pointed at,” said Jason Roberts, Recreation Warden with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
In Minnesota in 2000, there were twenty-seven incidents occurred with 4 being deadly, and two years ago, eleven incidents and no fatalities occurred.
When it comes to hunting, there are four main types of hunting-related incidents:
- Hunter judgment mistakes—-not checking the foreground or background before firing
- Safety rule violations—pointing the muzzle in an unsafe direction.
- Lack of control and practice—which can lead to accidental discharges and stray shots
- Mechanical failure–an obstructed barrel or improper ammunition
Roberts shares some of the rules when it comes to checking and being aware of your surroundings. “You want to be certain of your targets and things that you see out in the woods, especially before you pull a trigger. If you identify a game, you want to make sure it is of a legal species and it is not some hiker out on the trail.”
Also, when it comes to being very visual when hunting, wear something easy to identify. In most cases, a lot of people and hunters wear orange component clothing.
When out hunting with others, communication in the field is always important. “If you do have the reception be mindful of where everybody is at and keep in communication with each other, that is going to help in a lot of different scenarios. To be sure that hey, just because there is a deer maybe 50 yards away, if you know your buddies on the other ridge on the other side, you know, that is not a safe shot,” Roberts mentions.
Mistakes can happen to anyone while hunting, even experienced hunters, and some of the most accidents that Roberts hears are about hunters when they are not on the ground.
“A big push from the safety side is for us to encourage people to be aware of how to take your tree stand down, how to put your tree stand up, how to get in and out safely, and to utilize a full body harness system when going up and down. We have had people that have died.”