This will be my last post of the semester and I just want to say that I’ve had fun researching a topic that means so much to me personally. I’ve had the opportunity to discuss hunters safety with countless people over the past few months and I think we can actually make a difference.
For my last post, I will summarize everything I’ve learned so far including most common accidents, how to avoid those accidents, research struggles, proposals and possible solutions.
Together we’ve learned that 1 in 3 hunters will fall from a tree stand at some point during their hunting life. People make their own stand from scrap wood and nail them to trees thinking they did an adequate job only to wake up in the hospital with a severe concussion and multiple fractured ribs. Tree stand safety is the easiest thing we can work to fix. Majority of falls are due to inadequate stand supports (homemade stands,) failure to use safety harnesses, and alcohol consumption. Please dont be stupid this hunting season. Spend the hundred bucks or so on a real stand, wear the harness that comes with it, and if you must drink, wait till your home so you dont endanger anyone else.
We’ve also learned that hunting accidents are grossly under reported because majority of states compile statistics on a voluntarily submitted basis. Under funding is one cause of this and ill be sure to address this serious issue in my final report.
My final recommendations to the Safety Education Division of Maryland DNR will be to set a reasonable minimum age for unsupervised hunting, expand the hunters safety course to include a mandatory live fire, hands on proper tree stand usage, and stricter regulations instructors. I am recommending instructors to be paid employees with a supervisor assigned but i realize the managerial limitations the department has. If that is not feasible then at least a more in depth curriculum where the students are responsible for the material with no supervisory help allowed.
Thank you all for joining me on this journey, I’ve enjoyed myself more than i originally realized i would. Remember your safety rules and together we can make a safer, more enjoyable hunting season for everyone this year.