It’s officially fall in New England, which means cooler temps, fall foliage, pumpkin picking, and raking leaves. It’s also when hunters start venturing into the woods.
Whether you’re a hunter or sport-shooting enthusiast here are some safety tips to keep yourself and others safe this autumn and beyond.
Safety Tips for Hunters
- Wear Appropriate Gear
- Wearing the appropriate clothing and gear while hunting is vital. If shooting, wear eye and ear protection. If you’re in a tree stand, consider a safety harness.
- It’s also important to be prepared for the worst possible weather conditions. This can vary by season. Carry a spare set of dry clothing and use layering techniques to prevent moisture while retaining body warmth. Always bring rain gear!
- Follow firearm safety practices
- Treat every firearm as if it were loaded.
- Only point at what you plan to shoot.
- Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
- Before shooting, clearly identify your target and what is beyond.
- If you’re hunting with family or friends, discuss the lay of the land and understand where each person will be.
- If you’re going into the woods alone, tell family or friends where you’re going and when you plan on getting back.
- Consider carrying a cell phone in a waterproof plastic bag when hunting. Basic cell phone service is available in many places. If an emergency arises, you can call for help.
Safety Tips for Non-Hunters Near a Hunting Area
- Wear Bright Clothing
- Make sure you wear bright clothing to make yourself more visible. Avoid colors and patterns that blend into your surroundings, including whites, blacks, browns, earth tones, animal patterns, and camouflage.
- Orange vests and hats are advisable.
- Make Noise
- Talk loudly (to yourself or a friend), whistle or sing-especially if you hear a shot nearby.
- Be courteous. Once a hunter is aware of your presence, don’t make unnecessary noise to disturb wildlife.
- Keep Pets Safe
- If you’re accompanied by a dog, the dog should also wear hunter orange or a very visible color on a vest, leash, coat or bandana.
- Don’t let dogs off-leash in an area that allows hunting-especially if they like to chase other animals.