Firearm-related fatalities in the U.S. have been decreasing consistently since record-keeping began in 1902 and dramatically in the last 20 years. As firearms safety education programs have increased, the number of unintentional firearm-related fatalities of decreased. Educating the public about hunting safety can help ensure the sport continues to stay one of the safest sports in America. With hunting season just around the corner here are a few hunting safety tips to remember:
- Wear hunter orange when in the woods. Use hunter orange to identify your hunting location.
- Dress defensively. Never wear red, white, blue, or black while hunting turkey.
- Know the effective range of your gun.
- Always identify your target before putting your finger on the
- Never shoot at sound or movement. Assume it is another hunter until you can clearly see the animal.
- Stay aware of other hunters.
- Be sure of your target and what lies beyond it.
- Make sure your equipment is in good working condition and your firearm is properly sighted in.
- If you hunt on private land, know where the boundaries, houses, roads, fences, and livestock are located on the property.
- Know and obey all wildlife laws and gun safety.
- When using a camouflage blind, other hunters cannot see you even if you are wearing hunter orange. Tie hunter orange on each side of the blind so it can be seen from all sides.
Safety Tips for Tree Stands
Though commonly used by deer hunters everywhere, tree stands often are improperly installed. As a result, they are considered the leading cause of hunting-related incidents.
- Practice with your stand at ground level, gradually going higher.
- Use proper procedures for securing the stand to a tree.
- Read the warnings and instructions from the stand manufacturer before each season.
- Use only stands meeting the standards of the Treestand Manufacturers Association (TMA) rated for your weight and all your equipment you wear or have with you on the stand.
- Always use a safety harness that meets TMA standards and is rated for your weight and any gear you wear.
- Attach your safety harness to the tree from when you leave the ground, throughout the hunt and when you descend to the ground.
- Always position yourself so that you step down onto your tree stand to test its stability.
- Never climb into a tree with a loaded gun or arrow ready to shoot.
- Always use a haul line to raise or lower your gear, including unloaded firearms, bow, and arrows.
- Always inform someone of where you are hunting and what time you are expected to return.
To learn more about Tree Stand Safety, take the free 15-minute tree stand safety course at www.georgiawildlife.com.