We’re heading down to Houston, Texas this weekend for the annual NSC Congress & Expo. I’m all about embracing the culture wherever I visit (check out my last post on my visit to Newfoundland if you don’t believe me!). I was doing a search on the top things to do in the Lone Star State and a few ideas came up. Some of you would likely think of (i.e., eat TexMex food, attend a football game, etc.) but there was one that really got me thinking: hunting.
Did you know that there’s an estimated 3.7 million whitetail deer in Texas? That’s the largest population of any state! On top of that, you can also hunt pronghorn, desert bighorn sheep, hogs and even alligators.
Now, I’m not sure hunting will be on my itinerary for the next week, however it did get me thinking about how we’ve never written a blog on hunting safety before. And, while we might not have gators up here in Canada, it holds true that we’re in the midst of hunting season ourselves.
Here are our top safety tips to ensure you have a safe hunting season:
- Climb Carefully
Did you know that tree stand accidents are the number one cause of injury for deer hunters? Always use a full-body safety harness (like this one) when climbing up and down as well as while sitting or standing in the tree stand.
- Dress for the Weather
It can get really cold up in a tree stand. Be sure to check the forecast! Dress accordingly, avoid moisture-retaining cotton and remember to wear a water-repelling outer layer. Remember the importance of keeping your hands warm to ensure feeling and dexterity. Keep your aim true by using products like Heat Pax with gloves to keep your fingers warm on those especially cold days.
- Protect Your Hearing
Hearing loss can begin at levels as low as 85 decibels. The shot from a rifle can produce noise of over 140 dB. Avoid life-long hearing damage by protecting your ears when shooting. Whether you opt for ear plugs or muffs, be sure to select a pair that is comfortable enough to wear all day.
- And your vision too…
The same goes for your precious eyesight. Be sure that you’re wearing safety glasses to protect your vision when shooting. Look for ballistic-rated glasses to ensure they won’t shatter from shrapnel from a bullet’s casing. Also, use tinted grey or brown lenses to help cut down on eye stress from the glare of the sun.
- Make Yourself Visible
Texas law requires that all hunters wear at least 400 square inches of orange material. Be sure to stand out and avoid using colors and patterns that blend with your surroundings.
- Stay Sober
Drinking and drugs are a huge no-no when it comes to hunting. Using alcohol and drugs impairs your physical and mental abilities, vision, judgement and reflexes. Despite the recent legalization of marijuana in Canada, it’s vital to never mix drug use with handling firearms.
- Alert someone of your plans.
Never head out on a hunting trip without letting a friend or relative know where you’ll be and when you expect to return.
Hopefully these tips and tricks help you while out in the bush. While your focus might be on the deer, remember that safety always needs to be the number one priority.
If you are heading to the NSC show in Houston, be sure to drop by the Levitt-Safety booth (#3443). We’ll be showing off LOBO work platform systems, the VRS Giraffe mobile work platform, Accufit quantitative respirator fit tester and Gastec gas detection tubes. Book an appointment with one of our LOBO specialists and you’ll be entered into a draw for a $100 Visa gift card!