Be Safe in Hunting Season
September 23rd, 2015 by Curtis Condon
Big game hunting is the most popular type of hunting, according to a 2011 report by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Census Bureau. Of the estimated 13.7 million hunters in the United States, nearly 11.6 million of them pursue big game, such as deer and elk. Small game, migratory birds and other animal hunting account for the other 2 million hunters. Photo by Jason Lugo

Big game hunting is the most popular type of hunting, according to a 2011 report by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Census Bureau. Of the estimated 13.7 million hunters in the United States, nearly 11.6 million of them pursue big game, such as deer and elk. Small game, migratory birds and other animal hunting account for the other 2 million hunters. Photo by Jason Lugo

Considering the estimated 13.7 million hunters in America, there are relatively few fatalities and serious injuries from hunting activities. However, potential dangers do exist, and every year news reports of hunting-related accidents offer tragic reminders about the importance of being safe when venturing afield.

Here are a few tips and reminders about how to stay safe during hunting season:

  • Remember the Basics. Hunt with a buddy, transport weapons unloaded, keep them pointed in a safe direction, always assume they are loaded and keep your finger away from the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
  • See and Be Seen. When it’s hunting season, you are never alone. You don’t want your prey to see you, but you do want to be seen by other hunters. Wear blaze orange apparel for most hunts, especially when moving through hunting areas. Avoid wearing colors that mimic those of game animals. Also, don’t shoot unless you can see and positively identify your target. Know what is in front of and beyond your target before pulling the trigger.
  • Buckle Up for Safety. A large proportion of hunting accidents involve treestands. Many of them could be avoided by using a safety harness. Also, when setting up a treestand, follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions. Know and observe weight-limit recommendations.
  • Tips for Non-Hunters. Many of the safety tips for hunters apply to non-hunters as well, such as see and be seen and go with a buddy. Hikers, campers and other non-hunters also should know when it’s hunting season, where hunters hunt and what times of day they are most active. Avoid traveling off-trail, and talk or make noise as you travel through areas where hunters may be present. Deep pets on a leash—or leave them at home.

Gear Head Nirvana
There is something alluring about outdoor gear catalogs. Two more to add to your favorites are Sierra Trading Post, www.sierratradingpost.com, and Campmor, www.campmor.com. They are not as well known or as flashy as Cabela’s or Bass Pro Shops, but what they lack in looks and heft, they make up for in discounts.

Outdoor 101: How a UV Water Sterilizer Works
Ultraviolet water sterilizers, such as SteriPEN, use ultraviolet light to destroy harmful viruses and bacteria.

The battery-powered units contain a lamp that creates UV light, which is turned on and immersed in the water. The UV light is absorbed by the bacteria and viruses, which destroys their ability to reproduce and renders them harmless to humans.

How long it takes to sterilize water depends on the sterilizer unit and the amount of water. For example, it takes 90 seconds for a SteriPEN to treat one liter of water.

UV sterilizers do not remove sediment, chemicals, bad tastes or odors.

Special Times Outdoors
October 7-13, World Rainforest Week
October 21, National Reptile Awareness Day
October 22, Hagfish Day

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Many of Curtis Condon’s fondest memories involve outdoor adventures with friends and family, whether fishing with old school buddies, backpacking in the mountains of the Northwest with his sons, or bird watching along the coast with his wife. He feels fortunate having the opportunity to write about the outdoors and other subjects for more than 30 years.