Selected Articles from our
The C.A.S.H. Courier
ARTICLE from the Fall 2010 Issue
It’s Hunting Season - Stay Alive And Stay Safe!
By Joe Miele
When the hot, humid months of summer make way for the crisp, cool weather
of autumn, many people head outdoors to enjoy activities such as camping,
hiking, and wildlife watching. There is no better way to enjoy what nature
can teach us than actually to get outside and explore.
Unfortunately, there are hunters with itchy trigger fingers who also will
be outdoors with you, and because one mistake of theirs could end or
devastate your life you must take precautions to ensure that you will not
fall victim to some drunken or drug-crazed yahoo who is out getting their
kicks from blasting away at helpless animals.
While it is incumbent upon the hunter to know where he is and to
positively identify his target, we all know that this is not always the way
it works. Too many innocent people are killed or injured every year because
a hunter saw movement through the trees and decided to shoot. Because a
bullet or arrow cannot be taken back once shot, it behooves us to do all we
can to ensure our own safety and not leave our lives up to the split-second
decisions made by Elmer Fudd.
Here are a few tips that can keep you safe from a hunter who might
otherwise mistake you for a squirrel:
Know where you are. Before you go on your hike or camping trip, know
where you are, where you will be going, and where hunting is allowed.
If you stay away from places that are heavily hunted (check with your state
DNR to determine where these areas are) your chances of becoming the victim
of a hunting accident are minimized. One other bit of advice: stay on
designated trails and in designated camping areas. Sure, it’s fun to go off
exploring where no man has gone before, but wildlife do that, too. If you
don’t want to be mistaken for wildlife, don’t do what they do.
Make noise as you walk. Talk with your friends while hiking. Since
wildlife do not speak in human languages, it is unlikely that a hunter will
shoot at you if he can hear you conversing with someone else.
Be active during the day and not so much at dawn and dusk. Though hunters
are out in the daylight hours, dawn and dusk are when animals are more
likely to be on the move and become vulnerable. Camp for the evening before
the sun goes down and don’t venture out until the sun is shining brightly in
Use your head when choosing what to wear. A white t-shirt worn during
hunting season is a death wish, and don’t flash white toilet paper,
either (no, I’m not kidding). Anything that might look like a deer’s tail is
a no-no to wear when out in the woods. Wear some sort of reflective
clothing, and some blaze orange if you have it. Yeah, I know that beige coat
and white mittens your significant other gave you for your birthday looks
fabulous on you, but leave it at home this time. Sure, I can hear you now:
“Joe, who are you to be telling me what to wear?” Fine, don’t take my
advice, but when you come home looking like a block of Swiss cheese don’t
come crying to me.
If hiking with a dog, do not allow him/her to run off-leash. Sure, Fido
might want to run freely when he gets outside, but do you really want some
drunken idiot putting an arrow through his lungs because he thought he was a
deer? Put an orange vest on Fido and a bell on his collar. Doing this might
save his life, and yours.
It’s insane that we have to protect ourselves against becoming victims
listed on the C.A.S.H. Hunting Accidents web page (found at
http://all-creatures.org/cash/accident-center.html ), but the truth is
that we cannot be sure that the hunters lurking in the woods know what they
are doing. In fact, given the statistics, we can be sure that many of them
do not! Thankfully, it does not happen often that a hunter shoots a
hiker or camper, but one can never be too careful. By following the tips
mentioned above, we’re doing our best at staying safe while enjoying the
outdoors that we love so much.
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