It wasn’t so long ago that hunting was a means of survival. What is now mostly considered sport, hunting is enjoyed by men and women, young and old. Its rich heritage in Minnesota is even spelled out in the state’s constitution, in part reading, “Hunting and fishing…are a valued part of our heritage that shall be forever preserved for the people…”
To make sure you can continue to enjoy your fall hunts for many seasons to come, safety should be the number one priority for all involved. Many of the inherent dangers of hunting are apparent: weapons, remote locations, cold and wet weather. Preparing ahead of time for what might happen can help you in case it does. While weapons training, proper gear, and familiarity with your hunting location are vital to a safe hunt, so is knowing how to keep yourself and your hunting party out of harm’s way.
- Maps can help you figure out where you’re going to hunt—and they can be just as helpful for finding your way home again. But they won’t do any good if you leave them sitting on the kitchen table—take them with you.
- A compass could be a life saver.
- Minnesota weather is unpredictable, so proper gear and a survival kit can be vital for helping you survive the unexpected.
- Life jackets aren’t only for summer boating—use them whenever you’re on the water. Without one, the potential for drowning in the fall is greater due to hypothermia.
- Always let someone know your plans and whereabouts. While cell phones could certainly come in handy during an emergency, they shouldn’t be relied upon as your only means of contact. Remote locations with no service, or a dead, wet, or lost phone are just as good as not having one. Have a backup plan.
- If you plan to camp be aware that gas lanterns, stoves, and heaters give off carbon monoxide. When used inside any kind of enclosed area, whether tent, camper, or vehicle, carbon monoxide poisoning becomes a very real risk. Use these kinds of gear outside only.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has hunting advice and information available through its Web site. Visit the Minnesota DNR Web site and click on Hunting & trapping under Popular Links.
There are a lot of things to think about when hunting that relate to the enjoyment, excitement, and safety of the sport. Staying ahead of the game—in every sense of the word—can do a lot toward making your next outing a memorable one.
Published Date:August 30, 2018
Categories: Risk Management - General