There’s a real thrill to going hunting that can’t be matched by many if any, other outdoor pursuits. However, as thrilling as it can be, it can also be dangerous. Aside from following the right tips for a successful hunt, you should make sure that you’re also thinking about the risks that are out there, and what you can do to stay safe against them. Here are some of the things you should be thinking about.
The first and most present risk of hunting is always going to be the weather. When you’re stuck out there in the wind, cold, and rain, or even on hot days, you should make sure that you’re dressed appropriately for the hunt. Wear a wicking base layer to keep your skin dry and let sweat escape, as well as a rainproof layer to keep water out. Otherwise, the risk of hypothermia is not just hypothetical, it’s something that happens to novice hunters every single year.
If you’re using any kind of firearm, then you need to be aware of the risk that the sound of your gun can pose to your ears. Every kind of gun, even those with silencing accessories, produces enough decibels of noise to pose the risk of permanent damage to your ears. You should look at acquiring hearing protection, with ear muffs typically being the best at reducing the exposure of your ears to excessive decibels, but there are also custom ear plugs that might be effective enough while still allowing you to hear things like speech from those nearby.
The first and most important thing preventing any friendly fire incidents is the gun safety of the individuals carrying. For one, you should always ensure that you’re treating every weapon like it’s loaded, with the safety off, at every time, and try to drill that into the heads of any hunting companions you have with you. That said, misidentification can happen and hunters get mistaken for prey, so you want to make sure that you have protection like BulletSafe vests at the ready. You can mitigate the damage, turning a potentially fatal shot into something that still hurts a lot, but that you will walk away from.
The dangers above are all ways that you can harm yourself (or others) by not being careful enough in your hunting, but getting lost in the wild is something that can happen to just about anyone. Having a GPS tool or app that can work even offline is vital but, beyond that, you should make sure that you always have the supplies to take care of yourself if you’re left out in the wild for hours or even days. This includes calorie-dense food, water purification kits like Survivor Filter, a first aid kit, and some form of blanket or shelter at the very least.
It always pays to think about safety before and above anything else when it comes to hunting. No form of recreation is worth putting yourself at unnecessary risk for, so follow the tips above.