In any hunting situation, safety should be at the forefront of the hunter. Turkey hunting is no different. All hunters that plan on being in the woods should be familiar with and execute proper safety measures.
Regardless of the choice of weapon to be used, the hunter should always be experienced in how the weapon operates.
- The hunter should be proficient with the weapon and take advantage of any safety features.
- Always spend quality time practicing with the weapon prior to using it in the field.
- The hunter should never use a weapon that one is not familiar with. This also includes shells, arrows, bullets, and muzzle loading equipment.
In most cases, turkey hunting can often be a very physical activity. The hunter frequently spends a lot of time on foot. For this reason, the hunter should be alert to physical safety health issues.
- Try to be in or get into proper physical shape prior to the turkey hunting season.
- Speak with a doctor about any health concerns prior to hunting.
- Always monitor any current health issues, such as diabetes, that may result in dangerous situations in the field.
- Start the day with a good breakfast and bring along extra food and water if planning to stay in the field for extended periods of time.
- Be extra careful while walking in areas that are sloped or inclined, crossing ditches, crossing fences, crossing water, or on uneven ground.
There are also issues related to personal safety that the hunter should plan accordingly for.
- Always make others, such as family members or friends, aware of planned hunting events.
- Let someone know where the location of the hunt will take place.
- Leave your expected time of return.
- Having an emergency plan already setup in the event that the hunter does not return within a reasonable time period can also be helpful.
The hunter should also consider safety when dressing for the hunting event.
- Dress in full camouflage from head to toe.
- Make sure to cover the hands and the face.
- Wear dark colored socks and or tuck the pant legs into boots to prevent skin from being exposed.
- Never wear items of clothing that have the colors red, white, or blue. These are the predominant colors of the neck and head of a turkey.
Turkey hunters use a wide variety of equipment in the field. There are a few safety measures that can be used as a result.
- Although most items will usually come with a camouflage print or a dull finish, any equipment to be used that does not should be colored accordingly.
- A dark permanent marker can be used on small items when paint is not available.
- Although it is not necessary to have a camouflaged weapon, it should be at least be dull finished to prevent glare.
- Again, do not use or at least change the color of anything that has the same colors as a turkey neck and head.
The hunter should take safety precautions whenever using decoys in the field. It is easy to mistake a decoy for a real turkey.
- Place decoys in areas with a clear field of view.
- Try to position the decoys in a way that does not put the hunter in a direct line of fire. This is helpful should another hunter mistake the decoys for being real.
- When transporting the decoys, make sure they are carried in a vest or hunting bag and are completely covered and not sticking out.
The need for safety when using turkey calls should also not be overlooked. Remember, the hunter is attempting to sound like a turkey and may be mistaken for one by other hunters.
- Keep a watchful eye out for other hunters in the area.
- Verbally identify yourself if approached by other hunters.
- Use extra caution if using turkey calls to make a gobble sound.
Public Land Safety
Because of the availability to all, it is important to use extra caution when hunting on public land.
- Whether required or not, it is helpful to use hunter orange hats or a vest while walking to and from hunting areas.
- If possible, make contact with other hunters parked in the same area. This way one can determine roughly where each hunter will be.
- Often it is possible to go deeper into the woods and avoid any conflicts with others.
- Make sure to be familiar with the area, or at least have a quality map to reduce the chances of getting lost.
After The Shot Safety
Many hunters prefer to run to and step on the harvested turkey neck and head after the shot. While this is fine, just remember to think safety. A mature turkey generally has sharp spurs that can cause damage.
- When carrying the turkey from the woods, place the turkey inside the hunting vest or inside a carrying bag. Make sure the turkey is completely concealed.
- Although commonly seen on television, it is best not to tote the turkey over the shoulder.
General Safety Rules
There are also general safety rules that should be followed while turkey hunting.
- Always identify and know what one is shooting at before taking the shot.
- Never shoot at any movement in brush.
- If other hunters approach your setup area, call out to them to let them know of your location.
- Use common sense and never take unnecessary chances.
Although rare, there may come a time when the hunter finds himself injured or lost in the woods.
- Carry a small first aid kit for minor injuries.
- Carry a loud whistle so others will be able to find you.
- Carry a cell phone to call for help.
- Carry a good map of the area and keep track of your location throughout the day.
- If injured or lost, it is best to stay put in one location and use the whistle and cell phone to aid others in finding you.
- First Aid Kit
- Food and Water
- Cell Phone
- Sharp Hunting Knife
- Flashlight with fresh batteries.
- Bug Spray
When it comes to safety, it is always better to be more cautious than less cautious. Never assume anything and don’t take unnecessary chances. When in doubt, remember safety first.
The use of muzzle loading equipment has become a popular part of the deer hunting season over the past decade or so. Today’s high tech and modern guns provide extreme accuracy and are generally easier to maintain than from years past. Here are a few safety and useful tips for adding a muzzle loader to your arsenal.
1. A muzzle loader is a firearm, as with any firearm, always think safety first.
2. Always read, understand, and follow the manufacturers instructions for proper use of a muzzle loader.
3. Only use the proper types and proper amounts of black powder or black powder substitutes as recommended by the gun manufacturer.
4. Make sure there are no obstructions inside the barrel before using.
5. Only use the proper bullet and size, percussion cap, any any other equipment as per the manufacturer.
6. If you can’t remember whether or not a muzzle loader is loaded, check before reloading. A double load can result in serious consequences.
7. Make sure all screws, bolts, breech plugs, and nipples are secure before discharging a muzzle loader.
8. Never force a bullet down the barrel of a muzzle loader. Use proper lubricate or switch to a different type of bullet.
9. Always store the powder and percussion caps in it’s original container and away from any fire or heat source.
10. Unload unfired loads after each daily use. Moisture can build up inside a barrel and result in corrosion, improper firing, or poor shot placement.
11. Keep a muzzle loader clean to prevent fowling. Run a patch down the barrel after each shot. Use a bore cleaner after use.
12. If using during wet weather, clean the muzzle loader as soon as possible after the hunt.
13. Thoroughly clean and lubricate a muzzle loader after seasonal use and when corrosion is detected.
This is a hunter safety tips article that provides a list of tree stand safety tips.
1. Always use a safety harness when using a tree stand. There are many available on the market. Make sure to get one that fits adequately and supports your body weight class.
2. Only use tree stands that you are comfortable with and know how to properly use. Make sure the stand is adequate for your size.
3. Always use caution when climbing with or up to a tree stand. Take your time and pay attention to each step or climbing motion.
4. Always use a pull up rope to bring weapons up a tree. Never climb a tree with weapons. Always unload firearms before bringing them up the tree.
5. Always make sure the tree stand is securely attached to the tree. Also make sure the tree is of appropriate size to hold the tree stand and body weight.
6. If using tree steps, make sure they are of quality and are properly and securely attached. Use short step placements for easy climbing and better safety.
7. Use extra caution when climbing during wet conditions. The step and or tree will be slick.
8. Always check tree stands for loose screws or bolts prior to use. Also check any attachments to be used for proper fit and tightness. Make sure the stand is completely secure.
9. If using an attached seat, make sure the seat is securely attached to the stand. Also make sure the seat has not deteriorated from one season to the next. Replace if necessary.
10. Always follow the tree stand manufacturers instructions for proper use.
11. Always remove stands from trees at the end of each season. This will prevent damage from the elements.
12. Always use a climbing belt when climbing up or down from a tree.
13. Let someone know of your stand locations if hunting alone. This way if something does happen, they will know where to look.
14. Only use tree stands that have been properly constructed. Especially with homemade stands, don’t build them cheaply. Use quality materials.
15. Always practice using a tree stand prior to actual use in a hunting situation.
16. Always use caution when moving around in a tree stand. The chance of an accident is higher during movement.
17. Do not use a tree stand during bad weather conditions such as ice storms, thunder storms, or extreme windy conditions.
18. Never take chances when using a tree stand. Use common sense. It is always better to be extra cautious.
As an avid hunter and outdoors man myself, it always seems amazing to me how often hunting accidents occur. I am referring to the one’s involving the use of firearms. Every year when hunting season starts, there is a news brief about some one that has shot himself or some one else. I have been safely hunting for nearly forty years. I try to use good judgment and common sense. With the coming of turkey season, I have compiled a list of hunting safety rules.
1. Do not use alcoholic beverages before or during hunting.
2. Do not use illegal drugs before or during hunting.
3. If you are currently taking legal prescription drugs, make sure they do not cause any mental or physical issues that may reduce hunter safety.
4. Treat all firearms as if loaded.
5. Keep the safety on your firearm until ready to shoot.
6. Keep your fingers away from the trigger area until you are in a safe position to shoot.
7. Do not load your weapon until you are in a safe place to shoot.
8. Always be aware of the direction that your firearm is pointing. Downward is the safest position.
9. Know what you are shooting at before you shoot.
10. If you are not absolutely sure of your target, do not shoot.
11. Know what is behind your target before you shoot.
12. Use common sense. If you are unsure about any thing, do not shoot.
It is always better to be safe than sorry. Never take chances, one mistake may cost you or some one else their life. With the hunting season on top of us, just remember to be safe out there. No turkey or other game animal is worth any one’s life. Always use good judgment and watch out for others.