Monday, September 20, 2010

Bow Season: Open

September 13th, bow season, Council Bluffs, IA. Hunters ages 12 and up, sheathed in orange vests so they stick out like a sore thumb in the thick forestation for safety. Bows strapped to backs, arrowheads down. Knee-high brush scraping against your rough pants doesn’t bother you a bit. On the prowl like tigers, hunters move out in packs.
Spotted baby white-tail deer prance behind their delicate mothers, turning into a blur as they fly past the awaiting hunters. A bow raised, a child in the way, disaster.

Hunter safety, you must know it to hunt, your first thoughts must always be about safety. Sure, you want that buck with immense antlers, or that thick meaty doe, but your safety comes first, and the safety of those around you. Sometimes you’ve just got to know when to let the deer escape. There are many things you should be aware of when going on a hunt, alone, or with a group. You want to always take a flashlight, some sort of first-aid kit, a knife, and any other survival devices you might need, just in case. Try to carry a cell phone with you at all times, on silent of course, just in case of an emergency so you can call for help right away. All children hunting should have completed a Hunter’s Safety Course before ever entering the timber with a weapon of their own or with the intent of firing a gun. Always make sure you have something bright on, usually orange, so you are not mistaken as game to another hunter. More times than not, a tree stand will provide even more safety as you are off of the ground and less likely going to be mistaken for game. But, you must always make sure your tree stand is sturdy enough to climb up on to, and that all your equipment is strapped in securely.
Always inspect your arrows closely to make sure there is no serious damage. If they are bent or cracked they can fail when shot and end up in personal injury. If you have a successful deer hunt, always wait a while before you go up to the wounded or dead animal. Animals in distress can cause major damage as they try to get up when they are scared. Antlers on the male deer can cause serious injury and even death. Always approach the animal slowly to ensure that it is passed and that you are not putting yourself in any danger.
If you have children or new hunters with you, always talk to them and make sure they know what you’re doing, and where you’re shooting at all times. Always make sure any rambunctious kids are out of the way, quiet, and still before making any move to even raise your bow.

Hunter safety, even though I don’t hunt, is a big issue with teenagers and even some adults. You always have to be safe when hunting. Deer get aggressive and can cause damage, just as well as your bow or shotgun can. Be safe hunting this year, and always.

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