Hunting season is a family tradition rich in meaning. Hunters look forward to the season all year for the family bonding and the passing on of valuable life skills. Hunting safety is one of those skills that is developed and passed on from generation to generation. Consider these hunting safety tips from Fenix and make the most of your hunting experience.
Tree Stand Hunting Safety
If you hunt from a tree stand, consider a Fall-Arrest System (FAS)/Full Body Harness during the ascent and descent of the stand. Also remember to unload weapons while climbing the ladder. It is a good idea to have a reliable communication device on your body so you can call for assistance after a fall. If you don’t have reliable communication, you need to develop and alternate rescue plan and make sure someone knows where your stand is and when you should return from the hunt. Lastly, it is also a good idea to rehearse a self-arrest scenario.
Firearm Handling Hunting Safety
When handling your firearm remember these four items and practice them with all members of the hunting party and on the range. Firearm hunting safety can be remembered with the acronym ACTT.
- A – Always treat every firearm as if it were loaded.
- C – Control the muzzle of the firearm at all times.
- T – Be certain of the Target and what is in front of it and beyond it.
- T – Keep your finger outside of the Trigger guard until you are ready to shoot.
Always be Aware. Situational awareness is critical in all aspects of hunting safety. Visibility is paramount. Remember to wear highly visible clothing. Also make sure you have bombproof lighting and signaling devices. When hunting, consider three types of lighting needs.
Hands Free – Your hands should always be free to control your firearm. Have a reliable hands-free light that will give you situational awareness while keeping your hands on your firearm or knife.
Long Range Light – You never know what situation you might encounter while hunting. Have a sturdy long range light that can help give you situational awareness and project strong light far down range. This light will help you find lost animals or fellow hunters and can help you make better decisions in critical situations.
Signaling Light – Lighting is a critical control method when hunting. Consider having multiple light options to increase visibility and control of the situation. Versatile lights that have strobe or S.O.S. features are great for hunting. Lights that have multiple color modes are also a good idea while hunting or at the hunting basecamp.
Have a Plan. Make sure to think through your hunting plan. Times, routes, and equipment should be considered before each trip. Make sure others know your plan, including your “Did Not Return Plan” or what to do if you or a member of your hunting party does not return at the time and place agreed upon. The plan should include what methods of communication, signaling, and safety gear (survival and first aid) that the hunter is carrying, along with an emergency contact list.
Rehearse. Lastly, hunting safety is all about practice and rehearsal. The start of each season should begin with a trip (or two) to the range and rehearsing hunting safety. Practice ACTT, target recognition, and misfire procedures. This rehearsal should occur with all members of the hunting party, particularly new hunters and children. Make sure to start with dry fire drills then progress to more stressful situations. If you are hunting with a child, make sure to rehearse communication and emergency procedures (including first aid) in case you become incapacitated while on the hunting trip.