Last year, there were 24 reported hunting accidents involving either a firearm or a bow and another 3 non-firearm/bow hunting-related incidents. Out of the 24 incidents involving a firearm/bow, 5 were fatal, and 2 of the non-firearm/bow hunting-related incidents resulted in death. Sadly, all these incidents were easily preventable, had the hunters followed correct hunting protocols.
This weekend marks the start of the general deer hunting season for white-tailed deer, while mule deer hunting season will commence on November 18th. The staff of Altus Emergency Centers is all too familiar with hunting-related accidents, which is why we would like to remind the members of our communities how easy it is to avoid incidents by just following these safety tips.
Enjoy Deer Hunting Season the Safe Way
Make Yourself Visible: Texas law requires that all hunters on public hunting lands wear at least 400 square inches of hunter orange material, of which 144 must be on the chest and back areas, orange headgear is also mandatory. Avoid using colors and patterns that blend with your surroundings.
Always Point the Muzzle in a safe direction: Never rest the muzzle on your foot, always point the muzzle in a safe direction. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire and never fire your hunting weapon unless you are sure your target is an actual deer.
Assume Every Gun is Loaded: Whenever you up a firearm point the muzzle in a safe direction and check if it is loaded. Be sure the chamber and the magazine are empty, and the action is open until ready to fire. Always have the safety on until you are ready to fire.
Identify your Target and Know what is In Front of and Beyond It: Use binoculars to properly identify game animals, never use your scope to identify them. Make sure there are no hunters or dogs in front of or beyond your target. Never shoot at an animal is on top of a hillside since you don’t know what lies beyond it. Understand how far your bullets or arrows can travel to determine the chances of hitting an unintended target.
Never Shoot at Flat Hard Surfaces: Bullets ricocheting off rocks, the ground and unbelievably even water can cause terrible injuries to people nearby.
Handle Firearms and Bows Carefully: Guns and hunting bows are not toys, never leave weapons unattended around children, always unload firearms and unstring bows when not in use. Store and transport firearms and ammunition separately, make sure they are under lock and key. Carry arrows in a protective cover or quiver.
Know Your Safe Zone: Hunters should be spaced 25 to 40 yards apart and always in sight of one another. A hunter’s safe zone of fire normally spans about 45 degrees in front them, but, the hunting party should make the final determination based on how experienced the hunters are. For safety purposes, there should be no more than 3 hunters in a party, for young or inexperienced hunters 2 is preferable.
Don’t Drink Alcohol or Take Drugs When Hunting: The use of alcohol and drugs impairs physical and mental abilities, they affect emotions, judgment, vision, and reflexes, increasing the chances of injury.
Be Careful When Using a Tree Stand: Always use a full body safety harness when climbing up or down the tree stands, don’t remove it until you are safely down from it. Use your own tree stand and make sure it is installed properly.
Keep Your Loyal Companion Safe: Make sure that you equip your pet with proper deer hunting gear and train them accordingly to keep them safe.
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Have a Fun & Safe Deer Hunting Season!
Deer hunting season is meant to be a fun recreational activity, but, it is not without its dangers, which is why we at Altus Emergency Centers advocate for education and safety, and if an unfortunate accident should happen to you or a loved one, all our centers are fully equipped to handle all types of deer hunting incidents, our no wait times policy means you will receive immediate medical attention that can save your life.
Should you or someone you know require immediate ER care, it is never the time to wait in line for hours or drive long distances. Give yourself the best possibility to get well. If you or someone you know need emergency medical assistance, visit your nearest Altus Emergency Center immediately.
At Altus Emergency Centers, we are strong advocates of education and prevention. Our expertly trained staff is available 24/7. We are here for you in the event of a medical emergency.