Archives for October 2013

Blog Posts For October/2013

Basic Safety Precautions and Physical Fitness for Hunters

As hunting season approaches, it is a good idea to refresh your knowledge of some fundamental hunting safety rules. The most common cause of accidents and injuries among hunters include falling from treestands, incorrect identification of a target and self-inflicted injuries. In addition, heart attacks and other injuries due to poor physical fitness are common among hunters.

Basic Safety

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation offers the following hunter safety tips.

  • Assume every gun is loaded.
  • Point your gun in a safe direction and control the muzzle at all times.
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
  • Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

New York law does not require hunters to wear orange, but more than 80% of big game hunters and two out of three small game hunters wear it as an essential safety precaution. Remember, deer and other game animals do not see hunter orange—they can’t tell red or orange from green and brown. But hunter orange prevents other hunters from mistaking a human for an animal and accidentally shooting in your direction.

Treestand Safety

Hunting from treestands is a very common practice. To avoid falls and injuries when using a treestand, remember to:

  • Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Inspect your treestand prior to each use.
  • Always wear a fall restraint when you are climbing, sitting or descending from an elevated position.
  • Pull your gun or bow up with a rope. Firearms should be unloaded, with the action open and the safety on.

Basic Physical Fitness

Something that every hunter should consider, but probably doesn’t, is the basic physical fitness that hunting requires. In fact, heart attacks take a higher toll every hunting season than careless hunting practices. Hunting requires you to carry gear, spot and (hopefully!) shoot your target, and then carry the carcass for a distance. If you are not physically active or you smoke or have high blood pressure, this sudden physical activity and the excitement of the hunt can cause a strain on your heart and lead to a heart attack.

To stay physically fit—and in prime condition for hunting season—the Surgeon General recommends 30 minutes of physical activity five or more times a week. You don’t need to do any high endurance fitness routines; you simply need to get moving every day with activities like walking, biking, jogging, gardening, hiking, bowling or even dancing. Take advantage of opportunities to walk a little farther or move a little more, such as parking your car farther away from the door at work or getting off the bus a stop early and walking the rest of the way. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, and go for a walk instead of loading up on fast food during your lunch break.

We know it might be too much to ask, but try to make healthful, low-fat meal choices. It will help you feel energetic and will reduce the strain on your heart when you are hunting and every day.

Are you ready for hunting season? What safety precautions do you take? Do you consider physical fitness as part of your preparation for hunting?