Hunting is a safe sport, but it does involve a certain amount of risk. Aside from firearm safety issues, a variety of accidents can occur on a trip outdoors. The rougher the terrain—particularly when it’s unfamiliar terrain—the greater the chance of accidents. Climate extremes also increase the risk. In remote areas, there’s always the possibility of becoming lost.
To plan properly:
- Be Ready: To help you avoid or minimize problems, it’s essential that you plan carefully for the hunt. Responsible hunters anticipate potential problems and make plans to deal with them. Considerations include terrain, location, weather, wild animals and other potential hazards.
- Know Your Location: Learn as much as you can about your chosen hunting area before you arrive. Purchase a topographic map indicating private property and familiarize yourself with the terrain. If the location is within a convenient drive, it’s a good idea to visit the area in the off-season. When in the area, meet with the landowners.
- Prepare for Safety: You also need to assess your physical condition and equipment. Refresh your memory of hunting and firearm safety rules, and review the rules with your hunting partners.
- Tell Others: Prepare a hunting plan that tells where and with whom you are hunting and when you expect to return. Give specific directions on your route to your destination and any alternate destinations. Leave the plan with a family member or friend. Do not deviate from your hunting plan without notification. When hunting with a group, each person should discuss their route plan.