Hunting is a favorite pastime for many Americans, but it can be dangerous for more than the prey. Weapons like bows and guns demand your utmost respect. How much do you know about hunting safety?
Let's start with the basics. You should always assume that every gun is WHAT?
Treat every gun as if it is loaded. The history of hunting is littered with injuries and deaths that could have been prevented by proper gun handling.
Before hunting season, how should you prepare?
Many, many hunters are sedentary for much of the year and then plunge into the exertion of hunting … with dire results for their health. Especially if you're older, you should get your body into shape before the season begins.
If the gun doesn't fire when you pull the trigger, what should you do?
Keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction and wait a few moments. Then carefully unload the gun. Consider ending the hunt unless you're sure there's no mechanical malfunction.
Hunter orange garments are required in every state.
Bright orange clothing isn't required in every state. However, these highly visible garments could save you from being shot by another hunter.
Deer can see hunter orange.
Deer have limited color vision and they can't distinguish orange from, say, brown. So your gaudy, life-saving vest won't scare away big game.
Keep your finger off of your gun's trigger until you are ready to WHAT?
Don't be the guy who accidentally pulls the trigger. Don't even touch the trigger until you are ready to fire.
You should never carry a bow or gun with you as you climb into a tree stand. How should you get your weapon into the stand?
Climbing with a weapon just doesn't make sense. Use a rope to lower and raise your weapon in and out of a tree stand.
Before you shoot, confirm your target and what else?
Too many hunters get excited about their prey and neglect to look beyond the target. It's important to verify there's no one behind the target in case you miss or the bullet passes through the animal's flesh.
What makes for a safer deer stand?
Strong, portable tree stands can be moved to follow the deer. And they don't harm trees or rot the way permanent wood stands do.
How much alcohol should you consume before hunting?
It's an annual tradition for many hunters -- drinking and then shooting. Alcohol consumption before a hunt is also completely irresponsible and should never be a part of your hunting routine.
Why should you practice "muzzle control"?
You should always control the muzzle of your gun and keep it pointed in a safe direction. Don't get sloppy and let the muzzle drift towards your hunting partner … or yourself.
What should you use to get in and out of your tree stand?
Cheap safety harnesses are readily available at many outdoor retailers. Use yours regularly and you'll avoid the falls that hurt many hunters each year.
What should you do with arrows until you're ready to shoot?
A covered quiver will keep the arrows safely out of the way. It's common for hunters to accidentally jab themselves on unprotected broadheads.
After you shoot a big game animal such as an elk, what should you do?
Some sources say you should wait about 30 minutes before searching for the animal -- that way, you can safely retrieve it without spooking it into deeper and probably tougher terrain, which would put a strain on you and your buddies.
You should always have a rain jacket of some sort when you go hunting.
It's easy to take the weather for granted, particularly on nice, sunny days. But hypothermia can occur with temperatures as high as 50 degrees unless you have a rain-shedding layer to keep you dry.
Be sure to match the arrow to the WHAT of your bow?
Your bow's draw weight should determine the stiffness of the arrows you select. If the arrows aren't sufficiently stiff, they'll fly off target when you loose them.
Before you shoot an animal, you should be 95 percent sure of your target.
Every year, excited hunters shoot before 100 percent confirming their targets. Too often, they wind up shooting another person or animal on accident.
You should always dry fire your bow before a hunt.
Never dry fire a bow (in other words, without an arrow). Doing so can break the bow and hurt you.
Before you load your gun, what should you do?
Check the barrel for obstructions before you load a cartridge or shell. This simple habit will prevent a potentially catastrophic accident.
What's one indispensable tool for waterfowl hunters?
Waterfowl season often occurs during chilly weather. Be sure to have a waterproof fire-starting kit. It could save your life in the event that you can't make it back to your vehicle.
If one of your arrows displays a crack, what should you do with it?
Cracked arrows can splinter or break when you draw them. Yes, they're expensive -- but it is cheaper to throw them away than to visit the emergency room.
What should every hunter keep nearby during a hunt?
Minor injuries happen often when you're outdoors. A first-aid kit is a cheap insurance policy that helps minimize injuries … and may also save your life.
Before you go hunting, do what?
Always tell someone where you're going before you head out hunting. That way, if you don't come back on time, they'll know that you may need help.
If you have to cross a fence while you're hunting, what should you do with your weapon?
Place your weapon carefully on the ground and cross the fence using both hands. Don’t strap it to your back. It's too easy for the weapon to flop around and hurt someone.
If your target animal appears on a ridge, what should you do?
Don't shoot animals on ridges. You have no idea what might be beyond your target.
When you're waterfowl hunting, what should you do with your cell phone?
Waterfowl hunting clearly takes place near ponds and lakes, which are death for your cell phone. Keep it safe in a waterproof bag in case you need it during an emergency.
You should double-check your ammunition before every hunt.
It's extremely easy to load the wrong size of ammo into the wrong gun, and the consequences are often dire. Make sure you're using the correct cartridges or shells before each hunt.
Hunters who wear blaze orange clothing are how much less likely to be accidentally shot?
Hunter orange is a statistical game-changer. You're seven times less likely to be accidentally shot if you wear your gaudy orange safety vest and hat.
Store your gun and ammo in the same locked cabinet.
Your gun and ammo should be stored in separate locked locations. Doing so makes it harder for children and unauthorized adults from accessing deadly weapons.
What's the No. 1 rule of safe hunting?
Simply be aware of yourself, your weapon and your surroundings. Simple awareness will keep you and everyone else safer.
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