During the Holidays, Safety Remains the Key to a Successful Hunt
11/19/2012 4:05 PM
This time of year is a season for tradition and heritage.People will gather with families and friends reminiscing about old times,enjoying the present and making memories for the future — from eating turkey, watching football, drinking eggnog, hanging greenery and hunting. The N.C.Wildlife Resources Commission through its Home From The Hunt™ campaign urges everyone not to overlook the safety aspects of your hunting outings with family and friends.
Most hunters do not hunt alone and research shows a larger majority of hunters either hunt with a friend or family member. Most active hunters were introduced to hunting by their father or a father figure in their lives by age 12. Literature suggests there is a strong likelihood women hunters were introduced to the tradition by their husbands. Southwick and Associates reported in February 2010 that 77 percent of hunters hunt with their son or daughters and even 56 percent of hunters without children report hunting with a young person.
There is clear evidence that the leading motivating factor of why we hunt is to spend time with friends and family. Wildlife Enforcement Sgt. Kelly Brantley has stated in his hunter education courses many times that “hunting incidents are always hard to investigate because hunters always hunt with friends, family, or someone very close to them.”
The weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day are when hunting incidents peak. Hunters should not get caught up in the excitement of a holiday hunt and overlook safety measures. Communicate with your fellow hunters and stress the importance of everyone being careful. Safety should always be the cornerstone of the hunt.
• Go back to basics — review hunter education training and equipment instructions.
• Know the rules — read all applicable regulations before going afield.
• Identify the target — remain cautious and be absolutely sure before firing.
• Inspect all equipment — repair or replace equipment, as needed, before use.
If you or someone in your hunting party is using tree stands, always wear and use a full body safety harness. Maintain three points of contact when climbing up and down, and never carry anything — use a haul line.
Blaze orange that is visible from all sides must be worn when hunting bear, feral hogs, deer, rabbit, squirrel, grouse, pheasant or quail with a firearm. Hunters are also required to wear blaze orange while hunting during a gun season.
The holiday season is a time for us to enjoy a lot of time-honored traditions, including hunting trips with gathered family and friends. The N.C.Wildlife Resources Commission through its Home From The Hunt™ campaign urges everyone not to overlook the safety aspects of an outing.