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Hunting Safety Trip

By Jack

It doesn't matter what type of activity you are doing, naturally, you should always try to be as safe as possible while doing it. There are certain activities, hobbies, sports, jobs, etc. that are much more dangerous and, therefore, more prone/to cause you physical harm than others. Whitetail deer hunting, or any other type of hunting for that matter, requires a weapon of some sort and any weapon requires total conscientious awareness of weapon safety.

 

You must place safety, above all else, when doing anything that could cause harm, and let's agree that any type of weapon can do this. There are many aspects of hunting, especially deer hunting that require your utmost attention to safety at all times. Whether you are handling your weapon, climbing into a tree stand, walking through snaky or dangerous terrain, building a campfire, etc. you must think safety at all times.

 

First Priorities

 

Keep safety at the top of your list of priorities. Safety first, is now and always will be your best policy. You should get into the habit of focusing on the safety aspect of anything that you do when you are hunting, but especially when you are whitetail deer hunting or any other big game hunting.

 

Hunt Alone

Even though I prefer to hunt alone most of the time, simply because I tend to have better luck this way, it is definitely safer to have a hunting buddy along in case something should happen and you require help. You could fall from your stand and break a bone, get snake bitten, have a heart attack or other illness, an auto break down, and any number of other things to require help. If you don't have a hunting buddy along, make sure that someone knows where you plan to hunt, so that if something were to happen, they would know where to come looking for you.

 

Medical Items

 

Always carry certain medical items on the hunting trip with you so you have access to them at least as close as your automobile. Take your standard first-aid kit including some fine pointed tweezers, antiseptic and handy-wipes, in addition to any special medicine you may require, such as heart medication, insulin, and any other necessary pills. Take an extra pair of glasses, or contacts in case yours get broken, a snake-bite kit, and anything else that specifically applies to your personal health or safety.

 

Learn About Hunting Area

 

It is extremely important to learn your hunting area well, and this isn't just to be able to outsmart the deer, but so that you don't have to worry about ever getting lost. Learn the general structure of the area, such as where are all the old logging roads and how do they lie In relation to direction. Where are the water sources, food sources, bluffs, exceptionally large trees, old dead trees, power-line clearings, fences, and anything else that would serve as a landmark to reorient you should you get lost? Be sure to become very familiar with the boundaries of the property you have permission to hunt on. It is not safe to wander onto someone else's property while hunting, since someone else may be hunting and accidentally shoot you, and by respecting the boundary, or property line, you are helping hunter/landowner relations also.

 

Scouting Pre-season

 

Be extremely careful during pre-season scouting and bow season, not to get snake bitten. This is the time of year when they are active and when you are most likely to encounter a poisonous snake. Keep a snakebite kit with you and wear a good pair of snake chaps when doing your scouting or walking to your stand during warm temperatures. When I do any scouting during this time of year, in addition to wearing snake chaps. I have a good long stick in my hand that I use to check any thick area in front of me before I step there. There are a variety of poisonous snakes whose home ranges vary throughout the United States. I wanted to include a photo of as many of these as I could to aid in the recognition of one, should a problem arise. I have also included valuable information necessary, in case of an emergency situation or an actual snakebite.

 

WHAT TO DO IF BITTEN BY A VENOMOUS SNAKE

 

1.) Allow bite to bleed freely for 15-30 secs.

 

2.) Cleanse and rapidly disinfect the area with BetadineTM pad (assuming you're not allergic to iodine or shellfish).

 

3.) If bitten on the hand, finger, foot or toe, wrap leg/arm rapidly with 3" to 6" ACETM or crepe bandage past the knee or elbow joint immobilizing It. Leave the area of fang marks open. Apply extractor immediately as well. Wrap no tighter than one would for a sprain. Make sure pulses are present. PLEASE READ DISCUSSION BELOW.

 

4.) Apply Sawyer Extractor until there is no more drainage from fang marks. The extractor can be left in place 30 mins. or more if necessary. It also aids in keeping the venom from spreading by applying a negative pressure against the tissue where the venom was initially deposited and creates a gradient which favors the movement of venom toward the Sawyer's external collection cup.

 

5.) If extractor not available: Apply hard direct pressure overbite using a 4" ´ 9" gauze pad folded in half twice. Tape in place with adhesive tape.

 

6.) Soak gauze pad in BetadineTM solution if available, and you're not allergic to iodines.

7.) Strap gauze pad tightly in place with adhesive tape.

 

8.) Overwrap dressing above and below bite area with ACETM or crepe bandage, but not too tight. No tighter than you would use for a sprain. Make sure pulses are present.

 

9.) Wrap ACETM (elastic) bandage as tight as one would for a sprain. Not too tight.

 

10.) Check for pulses above and below elastic wrap; if absent it is to-a-tight. Unpin and loosen.

 

11.) Immobilize bitten extremity, use splinting if available.

 

12.) If possible, try and keep bitten extremity at heart level or in a gravity-neutral position. Raising it above heart level can cause antivenin to travel into the body. Holding it down, below heart level can increase swelling.

 

13.) Go to the nearest hospital or medical facility as soon as possible.

 

14.) Try and identify, kill and bring (ONLY if safe to do so) offending snake.

 

15.) This is the least important thing you should do. Visual identification/description usually suffices, especially in the U.S. Bites to face, torso or buttocks are more of a problem. Disinfect. Prep (shave hair) area with razor provided an extractor kit. Use extractor device until there is no further drainage possible and then apply pressure dressing with gauze pad and tape. ACETM/crepe bandaging cannot be applied to such bites. A pressure dressing made of a gauze pad may help if a Sawyer Extractor is not available.

 

16.) Antivenin is the only and best treatment for snakebite and you must get as much as is necessary as soon as possible. Antivenin administration should not be delayed. Up to 20 vials may be needed to neutralize the effects of rattlesnake and other Cortaid venoms in North America. Children may need more than this as envenomation is apt to be much more serious in a small person compared to a larger one.

 

WHAT NOT TO DO IF BITTEN BY A VENOMOUS SNAKE 

 

1.) Contrary to advice given elsewhere DO NOT permit removal of pressure dressings, Sawyer or ACETM bandage until you are at a facility ready and able to administer antivenin. As soon as the dressings are released the venom will spread causing the usual expected problems of venomous snakebite. The hospital at this time must be prepared to administer the antidote (antivenin)*.

 

2.) Do not eat or drink anything unless Okayed by medical sources.

 

3.) Do not engage in the strenuous physical activity.

 

4.) Do not apply oral (mouth) suction to bite.

 

5.) Do not cut into or incise bite marks with a blade.

 

6.) Do not drink any alcohol or use any medication.

 

7) Do not apply either hot or cold packs.

 

8.) Do not apply a narrow, constrictive tourniquet such as a belt, necktie or cord.

 

9.) Do not use a stun gun or electric shock of any kind.

 

10.) Do not remove dressings/elastic wraps until arrival at hospital and antivenin available.

 

11.) Do not waste time or take any risks trying to kill, bag or bring an in the offending snake.

 

• Remember ACETM or other wide bandaging must not be wrapped so tight as to cut off systemic venous or arterial circulation. Properly applied such bandages will NOT compromise the systemic circulation.

 

WHAT TO TELL THEM AT THE HOSPITAL

 

1.) Ask Staff to Contact Poison Control Immediately.

 

2.) Locate nearest Antivenin Resource (for N.A. species: Wyeth (1-610-688-4400).

 

3.) Ask staff to use physician consultants available thru Poison Control.

 

4.) Alternatively, contact Snakebite consultants through N.Y.C. Snakebite/Jacobi Hospital, Bronx. NY (Exotic snakebites should also contact) Emergency Hotline at 1-718-430-6494.

 

5.) This webpage provided as a public service by the IESF and any questions may be directed to sgrenard@siuh.edu or more expediently if necessary, at 1-718-227-6234. Beeper: (for emergencies only) 1-917-354-8289. After three tones enter your call back number, be sure and include area code and country code (if necessary) and then push # sign.

 

6.) Questions on snakebites may be posted to the venom list. If you are not a member please go to the VENOM LIST website or write the moderator to be subscribed at https://safariors.com/.

 

OTHER DO'S & DONT'S

 

1.) Never hike camp, work or collect specimens in areas where there are venomous snakes unless accompanied by at least two companions. One to stay with the victim and the other to go get help. All parties should know what to do.

 

2.) If you come across any snake in the field and don't know positively what it is or isn't. do not approach It, try and examine it or photograph it (unless you have a long telephoto or zoom lens). Move away from it as expediently as possible.

 

3.) If you work with venomous snakes in a public (zoo/exhibit) or private collection or in a museum or university laboratory, never open their cage without a companion nearby who is familiar with snakebite first-aid.

 

4.) A telephone with an outside line should always be located in the room or area where venomous snakes are located in case there is a need to call for help.

 

5.) Never handle or attempt to handle venomous snakes without at least one trained companion present.

 

6.) If you are not an experienced venomous snake handler, don't try handling or catching them without first obtaining extensive experience and training by someone who is trained.

 

7.) If you maintain a private or laboratory collection of live venomous species, keep all cages under lock and key; rooms, where such cages are located, should have a double door and vestibule, be completely visible through glass paneling from the outside and be off-limits to all but authorized personnel. If a snake appears missing from a cage you may be able to locate it before entering the room in preparation of restoring it. Such rooms should be completely sealed. No open or screened windows and no "mouse-holes" or pipe holes through which a snake can escape. Sink drains should be also he capped and toilets, if present, always kept covered.

 

8.) Finally, if you deal with venomous snakes always make sure you have or know where to locate a supply of specific antivenin for the species you are involved with.

 

PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING DISCUSSION: 

 

This website suggests the use of containment or sequestration of injected venom at or near the bite site using broad (3"-6" wide) compression bandaging such as crepe or ACETM-type elastic bandage. This is the standard worldwide accepted first-aid treatment for bites by elapid snakes such as cobras, coral snakes, and many Australian species. This method has delayed on the onset of serious snakebite symptoms as long as 24 hours in Australia where victims of deadly bites were that far from medical assistance. The method remains controversial in the U.S. although a number of top snakebite experts have recently recommended its use in Cortaid bites in printed references appearing in peer-reviewed journals.

 

The use of containment/sequestration for certain types of North American pit viper (rattlesnake, moccasin and copperhead) bite is felt by some to increase the risk of disfiguring local tissue injury, which, while not necessarily life-threatening by itself may necessitate skin grafts and extensive repair and treatment once the acute, life-threatening phase of the event has passed. Some experts feel the spread of venom to vital organs can be life-threatening and that you have no way of knowing how life-threatening a snakebite is in the first moments of the event. Therefore,

 

users of this method must recognize that there is a trade-off: containment as a life-saving measure at the risk of local tissue damage which while not necessarily life-threatening, could be disfiguring, painful and/or which could require prolonged and extensive follow-up treatment, we, therefore, urge readers who decide to use this method on ANY type of snakebite to do so as a life or death decision and to make this decision in pre-recognition of the above information. In addition, some U.S. Cortaid bites, particularly from large species, results in widespread damage to limbs even when bites were to digits and hands or feet. Thus the wide-area, low-pressure wraps can prevent the spread of venom and more widespread damage. Again some experts feel that this Increases the intensity of more localized damage.

 

So while snakebite mortality without these dressings may be low, we have been appraised of too many unnecessary and tragic deaths and widespread disfigurement without its use and in general advocate its use if it is properly applied. Disfiguring local injury can be limited to a much smaller area compared to Cortaid (pit-viper: rattlers, copperheads. cot-ton mouths) snakebite where this type of containment has not been used. Compression bandages are standard in Australia but these are mostly elapid bites although some have some SERIOUS local tissue or muscle effect as well. The venom of the King Brown Snake, a widely distributed species (Pseudechis australis) has as its main target: skeletal muscle tissue. Bites by Cobras which also have local effects also have direct acting cardio toxins so containment can be life-saving in bites by these snakes.

 

We strenuously oppose the out of hand dismissal of containment, used In Australia for nearly 20 years successfully, by a few experts in the United States. Denial of the value of this method by these U.S. experts has resulted in the death of professional and hobbyist handlers of cobra and other elapid snakes who erroneously were led to believe that the method should not be used because of their admonitions that local tissue destruction is its only effect and should NOT be used under any circumstances. A number of advocates of the method have been bullied and threatened by a few others who are opposed to this treatment because they say there is no proof it is of value in rattlesnake bite but they can point to no studies which disprove its worth whereas there have been animal studies done using Diamondback rattler venom on pigs and monkeys demonstrating that it serves to prevent spread of venom and suppress widespread swelling.

 

VENOMOUS SNAKES OF THE U.S. 

 

The COTTONMOUTH Snake is a type of water moccasin that lives in swampy areas of the southeastern United States and parts of Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma, & Texas.

 

The NORTHERN COPPERHEAD ranges from Massachusetts's west to southern Illinois and western Tennessee, south to Alabama and Georgia. It is more common in West Virginia than the rattlesnake.

 

The BROADBAND COPPER-HEAD is located in the west & central Texas through north-central Oklahoma, on up into Kansas.

 

The TRANS-PECOS COPPER-HEAD ranges across the Trans-Pecos region of west Texas from Val Verde and Crockett Counties through the Big Bend and Davis Mountains region, southward into the Mexican states of Coahuila and Chihuahua.

 

The EASTERN RATTLESNAKE is at home in the Palmetto flab woods and dry pinelands of the south.

 

The RED DIAMOND RATTLE-SNAKE is limited to Baja and southern California; from Riverside/San Bernardino area southwards in the Peninsular Ranges and on their desert slope; inhabits brushy areas, often with rocks.

 

The WESTERN DIAMONDBACK RATTLESNAKE ranges from the southern tip of Nevada, across Arizona south of the line from Lake Mead and the Mogollon Rim, and into southeastern California northeast of Baja California. The range spans eastward to Oklahoma, Arkansas, and south to central Mexico.

 

The TIMBER RATTLESNAKE is a top predator in the forest ecosystems of eastern North America.

 

The GRAND CANYON RATTLE-SNAKE predominantly found in the Grand Canyon.

 

The CANEBRAKE RATTLE-SNAKE is a close relative of the limber Rattlesnake and intergrades with its northern cousin in many areas.

 

The MOJAVE RATTLESNAKE ranges from southwestern Utah. South Nevada and Mojave Desert region of California to central Mexico. Frequents desert flats with scrub vegetation.

 

The HOPI RATTLESNAKE inhabits rocky outcrops and talus slopes. They may den in mammal burrows, crevices, and caves (sometimes in large numbers). They can be found in northeastern Arizona and extreme northwestern New Mexico.

 

The ARIZONA BLACK RATTLESNAKE is a western rattlesnake found from central Arizona to western New Mexico.

 

The BANDED ROCK RAMONA (usually lives at higher altitudes in dry, rocky areas. It is found in western and central Mexico, north to central New Mexico and southeastern Arizona.

 

The MOTTLED ROCK RATTLESNAKE is found in the far southeast corner of New Mexico, southwestern Texas, and south to central Mexico.

 

The TIGER RATTLESNAKE is found only n rocky canyons, hillsides and ravines in deserts or grasslands and is most active after rains. They at nocturnal and begin foraging when the sun goes down. These snakes can be found in isolated populations through most of Sonora Mexico northward to south-central Arizona.

 

The PANAMINT SPECKLED RATTLESNAKE is a desert dweller common to southern Nevada, and adjacent California.

 

The PYGMY RATTLESNAKE is quite common throughout the eastern United States and especially the southeast all the way down through Florida.

 

The SIDEWINDER ranges from extreme south-western Utah and southern Nevada to southeastern California and south-central Arizona into west-central Sonora and to the gulf coast in Raja. Mexico.

 

The BLACKTAIL RATTLESNAKE is almost always found in rocky areas but in a variety of habitats such as deciduous forests or pine woodlands, grassy hillsides, or cactus and agave groves. They sometimes climb into low-growing bushes. They are found in central Texas, west through New Mexico, much of Arizona, and south to northern Mexico.

 

The PRAIRIE RATTLESNAKE can be found from the great plains region of North America from southeastern Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan to north-eastern Sonora, northern Chihuahua, and west-central Texas and from the Rocky Mountains eastward through the central portions of North and South Dakota and north-central Nebraska to extreme western Iowa, western Oklahoma, and central Kansas. It has spread to the west through gaps in the Rocky Mountains to eastern Idaho, southern Utah and northern Arizona.

 

The TWIN-SPOTTED RATTLESNAKE is found in the pine and oak forests of southeastern Arizona. South to northwestern Mexico. It lives in relatively high altitudes of 6,000 to 9,500 feet. Photo from the American International Rattlesnake Museum.

 

The GREAT BASIN RATTLESNAKE can be found from the Rockies to the Sierras — including southeastern Oregon, northern California, southern Idaho, central Idaho, central Nevada, and western Utah. While suppressed under desert-like conditions, this snake is commonly found in the open and under ledges within canyons.

 

The MIDGET FADED RATTLESNAKE mainly resides in the southwestern states such as eastern Utah, extreme western Colorado, and extreme southwestern Wyoming.

 

The EASTERN MASSASAUGA ranges from western New York and Pennsylvania to eastern Iowa throughout Michigan and south through Mid-Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.

 

The WESTERN MASSASAUGA can be found from southeastern Arizona, the Valley of the Rio Grande and the Gulf Coast of Texas, north through southeastern Colorado and central Oklahoma, to eastern Kansas and southeastern Nebraska.

 

The WESTERN CORAL Snake can be found in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona and northern Mexico, to the southwest corner of New Mexico below 5800 feet.

 

• Be alert to any potential encounter with poisonous spiders. Depending on where you hunt in North America, the widow spiders, recluse spiders, hobo spiders, and yellow sac spiders are the only spiders of medical importance. Although a red-legged widow spider lives in Florida, the Black Widow bites are much more common. There are about thirteen species of poisonous spiders in the United States, but the Brown Recluse causes the most severe bites. The Hobo Spider lives in the northwestern states and the Yellow Sac Spider bites are very infrequent, and in most cases, fairly minor when they do occur. Spider bites in general usually are not fatal and some cause no reaction at all. Any spider bite can get infected, but immediately seek medical attention for any reaction Yellow Sac to a spider bite, especially the Brown Recluse.

 

• During bow season or any time, you are hunting in warm temperatures when the ticks will be active be sure to wear enough clothing to cover your body and spray your clothing with a good tick repellent such as Permanone. Certain tick bites can cause Lyme Disease, which is an infection caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, transmitted by these tick bites. The disease often starts as a skin rash and can progress to more serious stages involving joint, nerve, or heart tissue. Antibiotics are usually effective, especially if treatment starts early in the disease process. Lyme Disease has now been reported in at least 47 states in the U.S., as well as in many countries throughout the world.

 

• In the United States, two closely related tick species have been identified as harboring and transmitting the disease, causing Borrelia bacterium to people and animals. The Black-Legged Tick (Deer Tick) is found in the eastern United States, and the Western Black-Legged Tick (Deer Tick) is on the West Coast. Keep in mind that these species are smaller than the common American Dog Tick, which does not transmit the Lyme disease. It is believed that in some states, Nebraska for one, immature stages of the Lone Star Tick may be responsible for most of their cases of Lyme Disease since neither of the other two species is found there. The Lone Star Tick is found primarily in the southeastern part of the state and this area has reported the majority of the Lyme Disease cases for Nebraska. Lone Star Ticks have been found on a large number of whitetail deer in this part of Nebraska also.

 

Often, a good thorough examination of your deer will reveal him to be hosting a number of Black-Legged (Deer) Ticks. These photos will give you an idea of where and what to look for. These are Lyme Disease-carrying ticks so use caution.

 

If you do get a tick bite, the sooner you remove it the less chance for an Infection. Use some type of fine pointed tweezers and grasp it where its mouthparts enter the skin and tug gently and repeatedly until the tick releases his hold by withdrawing its barbed mouth part from your skin. Above all be patient, because proper tick removal may take time. Try to avoid pulling the body away, and in the process, severing the head, leaving it attached to your skin. This will almost certainly cause an infection. Clean the bite area with soap and water if possible and apply an antiseptic. Call or see a physician if an infection occurs.

 

• Poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac are the most common plants that cause a skin rash. Asap that comes from these plants causes the rash. The name of this sap, urushiol, causes an allergic reaction. It is not really a poison. Not everyone reacts to urushiol. If you are allergic to it you can get a skin rash when you touch poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac. You could acquire a rash by touching clothing, shoes, even pets that have the sap on them. If you come In contact with the smoke from these burning plants, you could develop a rash.

 

The rash occurring from contact with either of these three poisonous plants comes a day or two after the initial contact. Some of the symptoms you should look for are itching. redness, burning feeling, swelling or blisters.

 

 

PREVENTION

 

Know what the three plants look like in order to avoid them:

 

Poison Oak and Poison Ivy both have three leaflets per stem. This is why you may have heard the saying "Leaflets three, let them be."

 

Poison Sumac has a row of six to ten leaflets. One leaflet is at the end of the stem. The other leaflets are in two rows opposite each other.

 

If you know that you have come in contact with one of these three poisonous plants, do the following things within 6 hours. You may prevent an allergic reaction if you do.

 

1.) Remove all clothes and shoes that have touched the plant.

2.) Wash your skin with soap and water.

3.) Apply rubbing alcohol with cotton balls to the parts of them? skin that is affected.

4.) Rinse with water.

 

• If problems such as swelling of the throat, tongue and/or lips occur or if you have a hard time breathing or swallowing, seek medical help. If you feel weak or dizzy, acquire bluish lips and mouth, or become unconscious, you should receive medical attention.

 

• Always try to be aware of weather conditions so that you may plan accordingly. Naturally, the weather is always subject to change, therefore you should always be ready for these changes. Always pack for good and bad weather and you can't go wrong.

 

• Know beyond a shadow of a doubt, exactly what you are shooting at before you fire your weapon. There are all too many stories of a hunter accidentally shooting another hunter. This is the most ridiculous type of accident I can imagine. When you consider the fact that a hunter is supposed to distinguish not only whether the deer is a buck or doe, but also pick a vital area on the deer to aim for before shooting, this type of accident is inexcusable. When you add to this the fact that in most states all legal hunters during gun season are supposed to wear a certain percentage of blaze orange, this is inconceivable. In my state of Tennessee, we are required to wear a minimum of 500 square inches of daylight fluorescent orange on our upper body or at least a blaze orange vest and cap which normally fulfills this requirement. Try using the strategy that you have only one round in your weapon to dispense at your quarry and to bring him home, you must have perfect shot placement in a vital area. If you can get in the habit of doing this whenever you spot a deer or what you think to be a deer, it will become common practice to look for this vitals area first before shooting.

 

• In addition to looking for the vitals area, know what is on the other side of your target. Never shoot toward a busy highway, houses, or anywhere that people or live-stock could accidentally be hit. Know that you are shooting in a safe direction, and if a deer is lined up in an unsafe direction, you may have to wait for a safer shot at him.

 

• Whenever you hunt with other hunting companions, you must always consider their location, when considering your direction of firing. You must also consider the possibility of them walking in your direction, even though this is something that should be resolved before the hunt. They should respect your hunting space and stay out, but they might not, so you should be prepared for this.

 

• Always keep the safety on your weapon in the ON position, unless you are ready to release a live round at your target. This is the only time you take the safety off, and once you make your shot, the safety goes right back on. Never maneuver around, climb, or even walk with the safety off. The only thing you should ever do with the safety off is prepared to fire your weapon or unload it after the hunt is over.

 

• I cannot emphasize the importance of tree stand safety enough. Every year there are reports of hunters falling from tree stands and injuring themselves or even being killed. Most of these types of accidents could have been prevented if not all of them. if enough importance had been placed on safety. You should research the stand you purchase and then learn everything you can about the safest possible way to use it. Spend whatever amount of money it takes to get a good quality product and pick the manufacturers brain about it. Read all of the instructions and keep it well maintained.

 

• Be very careful to select a safe enough tree for your stand and also one that will fit your stand once you have climbed to the proper height. You should be sure that the tree has no dead limbs that could blow down in a heavy wind and hit you, and one that has bark that will allow the stand to bite into it. Trees that have smooth bark may allow your stand to slip when you shift your weight a certain way and cause an accident. When you apply the stand to the tree, it may fit nice and snug and sit at the proper angle at ground level, but since the tree may get increasingly smaller as you climb, the stand may not sit properly on the tree at this height. Some stands come with features to allow for this so you can adjust your stand once you are at the proper height. Said Jack Mikeson of Safariors.com

 

 

• Practice using your new stand at ground level on a tree before you start climbing with it. Learn the best way to get into and out of it, and how to maneuver in It safely.

 

• Use a great deal of caution when attempting to use an unfamiliar permanent stand. The best choice is to not use it at all, but if you elect to, check it over thoroughly to be sure that it is safe.

 

• Never carry your weapon up with you when you are climbing into your stand. Use a pull rope attached to your weapon, making sure the safety is on and attach the other end to your stand or to your belt loop, so once you climb up the tree and get settled, you can pull the weapon up safely. There have been too many accidents as a result of hunters taking their rifle or bow up with them. They could fall and discharge and actually hit you there on your stand, possibly even killing you, but at the very least damaging your weapon and ruining your hunt.

 

• Always handle your weapon as though it was loaded, even if you are 99.99% sure that it is empty. There is always that .01% chance that there could be a live round in the chamber. Someone else may have handled the weapon and loaded it without your knowledge or you might have been disturbed while unloading it and gotten careless. Don't rely totally on the safety because safeties have been known to fail, so just use common sense. You should take special care of your equipment and your weapons, making sure chat they are in good safe working order. Keep your equipment, and especially your weapons, well lubricated and clean.

 

• You should always wear the required amount of blaze orange to be safe from other hunters, regardless of your state requirements. You must wear at least what your state requires, but if you would feel safer wearing more than do so. The more concealed you are from the deer, the better, but the more conspicuous you are to other hunters, the better. so you have to consider these factors depending on when and where you are hunting.

 

• Always be extremely careful, walking upon a deer that you have shot and assume to be dead. Be sure that he has expired before you get too close since he could cause you some damage in the last ditch effort to get away If he has not expired.

 

• Don't be careless with fire, when you are in the woods or in any dry area. Many land-owners may ask you not to build a fire if it has been extremely dry for the past few weeks. Never leave a campfire unattended, but dowse it with water to be sure that it is totally out. Use your common sense regarding matches, smoking, campfires, etc.

 

• When cutting firewood or kindling for a camp-fire be extremely careful with axes, machetes, hatchets, saws, knives, etc. Any of these tools can do serious harm to you if you are not absolutely careful.

 

• Never use gasoline or any other comparable highly flammable explosive type of chemical to start a fire, if you have trouble getting fires to start for you, there are several different types of fire starters available at your grocery stores, local hardware stores, etc. that are quite safe.

 

• You should never smoke in your deer hunting area, but if you do, never throw your lit cigarette butt down to possibly start a fire. There have been numerous forest fires started just this way.

 

• When you are scouting or walking around in the field, realize that there are always dangers where you may least expect them, such as a rabid fox, skunk, coyote, etc. or hidden Hornet's nests, underground Yellow Jackets, or Honey Bees' nests or maybe a Wasp's nest attached to your permanent tree stand. In the wild, all of these things are possible including many others, although few and far between, can occur at any time.

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