By Todd Shettles NMMC-Eupora
Hunting around here is a tradition. One that can be the most enjoyable experiences but can turn to the greatest heartbreak. If approached from a safety standpoint your hunting experience can be one of good memories for years to come.
North Mississippi Medical Center-Eupora would like to take the opportunity to offer some safe hunting tips to you. As a young boy I attended the hunters safety program sponsored by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife offered at my school. I feel this program has many opportunities to teach young hunters the fundamentals of safe hunting and would highly encourage that these young people attend this program before taking afield. Safety and hunting is the responsibility of everyone. I hope you find the following tips helpful to you.
1. Make safety your top priority when preparing for the hunt. 2. Always treat every firearm as if it is loaded. Always point the muzzle in a safe direction when handling the weapon. 3. Always wear hunter’s orange. Mississippi law requires that hunters wear a blaze orange hunting vest during firearm season. This will make you highly visible in the woods and less likely to be mistaken for game. 4. When walking to and from your hunting spot before sunrise or after sunset use a flashlight. This will make you obvious to other hunters that you are not game but rather another hunter. 5. Always know your target as well as what is beyond. You should never shoot at movement or noise. Many hunters have been shot this way so be smart and make sure. 6. Dress appropriately for the type of weather. Hypothermia can come on quick and you never know when something could happen requiring you to remain in the elements of nature for a long period of time. 7. Always make sure to tell someone where you will be hunting. Should something go wrong time is of an essence. Knowing where to start looking will cut down on the rescue time. 8. When hunting from treestands make sure they are in good shape and safe. Always were a safety harness. Full body type are the safest but only those worn will work. Many hunters fall from treestands each year, which many times result in devastating outcomes. 9. Always use a rope or retrieval device to pull gun to you once in the stand. Be sure prior to climbing to stand that you unload your gun. Never climb with your gun. 10. Always carry with you some supplies for survival such as a compass, flashlights (extra batteries), ignition source to start a fire and water. You never know what may happen so be prepared. 11. Never have a loaded gun while riding in a vehicle or on an ATV. Many accidental shooting have occurred because people had a loaded weapon in the vehicle. Plus it’s the law. 12. Remember to wear a helmet when riding ATVs in the field. Know your ATV and its abilities. Don’t forget they handle differently when loaded with extra weight and on uneven terrain. If you are removing a deer from the woods the center of gravity of your ATV will be different so be careful and take your time. I hope these tips will make your hunting experience this year safe and enjoyable. God bless and good hunting.