Welcome back to another weekly edition of my Hunters Safety blog. If you haven’t already, i would recommend checking out the earlier posts and the Must Reads!! tab.
So this week I want to talk to you guys about something that most people and apparently the Hunters Safety Course do not realize. Not all hunting injuries are firearms related. Before i started researching this topic heavily, when someone said there was a hunting accident, I assumed someone was shot. Many times this is the case but its not always the case and should not be treated as if it is.
In a wonderfully designed and written article by Jason Herbert from North American Whitetail, we come to the realization that when hunting, danger is prevalent in just about everything we do. The focus of Jason’s article is to highlight the 7 most common types of hunting injuries we should be aware of and what we can do to avoid them.
First, and statistically most common, is what we all expect; accidental shootings. Whether the shooter fails to check beyond the target, drops or mishandles the gun, shoots while swinging on a moving target, or simply fails to recognize a hunter in the woods, accidental shooting are the most common and deadly type of accident that occurs in the woods.
Second is a topic that i touched on last week; treestand accidents. Hunters often attempt to climb the stand with the weapon in one hand instead of using a strap to lift the weapon. Other times hunters slip from stands while ascending, descending, or adjusting position for a shot. Believe it or not, some hunters actually fall asleep in the early hours and fall from the stand. No matter how it happens, tree stand accidents are very common and the fact that Maryland Hunters Safety Course does not include tree stand safety as a hands on training exercise is appalling to me.
The third accident that is something hard to avoid and even harder to prevent is accidents due to poor health. Hunting can be a very strenuous task. Hunters often have to drag 200 lbs animals miles back to the road through marsh, thickets, hills, and mountains. Over exertion, fatigue, dehydration, heat stroke, pulled muscles, and even heart attacks can often be the results. Although i realize that these injuries cannot be blamed on a lack of safety training, I still see many ways in which the Hunters Safety Course could better prepare or inform hunters of the dangers that we are not always aware of.
As hunters we need to take responsibility for our own actions and do out part to prevent these accidents from happening. Take the necessary steps, get proper training and safety equipment to prevent yourself from becoming one of these statistics. The first three of the seven common accidents are all I have time for today but i will wrap up next week with the final four.