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Nature is unpredictable.
When you head out into the wilderness for a hunt, you will be best served not to assume that everything will go according to plan. Things like the weather turning or animals behaving differently could force you to change your plans on the fly.
It’s one thing if the unpredictability of nature only led to you having an unsuccessful hunt. The greater concern is your safety. Nature is unforgiving and you may find yourself in a dangerous situation rather quickly if you’re not careful.
You should never treat a hunting trip lightly. Make all the preparations necessary to ensure that you can respond to anything that happens while you’re outdoors.
These are the 5 most important tips that will help keep hunters safe.
Check Out the Weather Report and Prepare Accordingly
I mentioned earlier that the weather turning is just one of the things that may catch you off guard during your hunting trip. The best way to prevent that from happening is to pay attention to the weather report.
While weather reports are not 100 percent accurate, they still get it right most of the time. Keep tabs on the weather conditions in the days leading up to your trip and check multiple times again on the day itself.
Some light rain should be easy enough to deal with, but if you’re expecting some showers in the area, it may not be a bad idea to postpone your trip. Slippery conditions are never ideal for hunting and you’re also leaving yourself vulnerable to the cold.
Plus, the animals may not want to come out if the rain is pouring.
Protect Yourself by Wearing Appropriate Hunting Gear
What you wear during your hunting trip is always important.
Camouflage gear is crucial because you need to hide yourself from your targets, but don’t forget about wearing items that can offer additional protection.
You must wear the right socks and shoes if you want to avoid exposing your body to the cold. Merino wool socks and winter hunting boots are great options to consider for your feet. While you’re at it, put on some hunting gloves and maybe a skull cap to keep the other exposed parts of your body warm.
It’s not just you who needs to be in proper hunting attire.
If you have friends or family members who have tagged along for the trip, they need to wear protective gear too. In their case, a brightly colored vest or any article of clothing that will allow them to stand out from their surroundings will help. You don’t want to accidentally shoot someone because they were camouflaged too well.
Bringing additional clothing is also a good move. Should the rain come down faster than you expected, you will be able to keep yourself warm and dry thanks to your change of clothes.
Also, remember to keep your dog on a leash if you are bringing one along for the trip. That will prevent your pet from being involved in an unfortunate accident.
Let Others Know about Your Hunting Plans
A key part of preparing for a hunting trip is actually telling others about it. But why is that the case? To put it simply, informing others about what your hunting trip is a safety measure.
Should you find yourself stranded in a remote location with no cell service and no way out, it would be impossible for you to let others know you’re in trouble unless people happen to pass by. Given that the odds of that happening are not particularly high, you need some additional protections in place.
That’s what telling others about your plan accomplishes. By letting them know where you’re going and how long you expect to be outdoors, they will be able to keep track of things and determine if you’ve been away longer than you planned.
Every second matters in an emergency situation and others knowing about your plans could be the reason why you are saved.
Scout the Hunting Area before Your Trip
Before the day of your trip, you should pay a visit to the area you are planning to use as your hunting ground. Even if you’ve heard from others about the condition of that area and they’ve told you that everything is fine, it’s always useful to get an up-to-date scouting report.
A landslide may have taken place recently making the spot you’re planning to use more dangerous than it used to be. You should also check to see if the area can hold up well to rain before setting camp there.
Looking out for wild animals is also a smart move during your scouting excursion. Some predators may have recently settled down in the area and you don’t necessarily want to disturb them with your presence unless you’re fine with them turning their attention to you.
Making the extra trip to your preferred hunting spot can be a hassle, but given everything you can learn from doing so, you should still take the time out for it.
Double Check Your Hunting Gear
Working with weapons always comes with a bit of risk and one malfunction during an inopportune time could prove very costly. Because of that, you should never forget to double check your hunting gear before heading out.
Check out your rifle to see that it’s working properly. See if it’s loaded or not and remember that.
Also, don’t point any weapons at anything other than your target. Needlessly aiming at something or someone is just inviting danger.
Some hunters prefer to hunt using treestands. If you’re among them, take the time to inspect your hunting safety harness. Full body harnesses are preferred because they offer more protection.
Bowhunting 360 also suggests putting the tether of your harness around the tree and then adjusting it just enough so that you can sit down on the treestand. Getting your harness positioned that way will make sure that you end up being suspended next to the tree should you slip and fall, thus allowing you to climb back up relatively easily.
There is no way to completely guarantee that you will be safe during your hunting trip, but you can take some extra precautions to increase the odds that it will turn out well. Nature can be difficult to deal with so stay alert and prepare adequately to keep yourself safe.