About the Study Guide

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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. Climate extremes and getting lost can increase the risks.

Two hunters reading a GPS

A safe hunt begins by addressing these four areas.

  • Be Ready: To help you avoid or minimize problems, it is essential that you plan carefully for the hunt. Responsible hunters anticipate potential problems and make plans to deal with them.
  • Know Your Location: Learn as much as you can about your chosen hunting area before you arrive. You can purchase topographic or aerial maps to familiarize yourself with the terrain. If the location is within a convenient drive, it is a good idea to visit the area in the off-season. Note: If you become lost, sit down, remain calm, and regain your bearings.
  • Prepare for Safety: You also need to assess your physical condition and equipment. Get in shape well in advance—your physical and mental condition will affect your performance and safety on the hunt. 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.
    • If you are hunting from a specific blind, tree stand, or other location, help emergency personnel and others find you in remote locations by including the exact GPS coordinates in your hunt plan. Every year, a number of individuals get hurt and are not found until it is too late because no one knew exactly where they were hunting and if they were using a tree stand, a blind, etc.
    • When hunting with a group, have each person discuss their route plan.