The opening day of bow season is fast approaching, and while the excitement builds for those of us who love the outdoors and the thrill of the “close up” style of hunting it offers, I have to ask, are you really prepared? Most will say for sure! “I have practiced with my bow for many hours”. “My stands are where they have been for years and I have trimmed the shooting lanes around each so my shots will have room to get to the target”. “I am ready to hunt!”
Yet, each fall in Alabama and around the nation there are many hunters injured and some even killed in the woods by various failures in equipment or by human error we are each subject to make as we venture out to the woods trying to get that big buck.
Already this year, a local hunter was killed in a tractor accident while preparing a green field when a pine tree that had been killed by beetles fell on him. He suffered several days in the hospital until his condition was deemed unsustainable.
One of my Face Book friends was hunting in a state where bow season has started and fell from a lock-on stand 25 feet to the ground before he had a chance to attach his fall prevention harness when both straps on the lock-on broke due to a deteriorated condition. He said he had cimbed up in to the stand just weeks earlier when he was trimming the shooting lanes and it seemed to be in good condition. Nylon straps are very convenient, but do you want to trust your life to one? When in doubt, change it out! Even better, get a chain with a turnbuckle and secure the lock-on with two or more chains and of course, always use a fall prevention harness. My FB friend wishes he had been more prepared. Now he has a broken femur on one side and a broken hip on the other. He also got both wrists broken and had to drag himself out to a nearby greenfield and scream for help from a hunting partner. He will not be hunting this year and had to have several surgeries in the last week to repair the broken bones. His wife posted his accident on his FB page and she is not too happy about the situation but, did say she was glad he did not break his neck!
These are just two very recent accidents that happened in the outdoors and sadly, there will be more during the upcoming season.
Like me, most of you consider the woods a very safe place to be, but the isolation that we love can when we get out in the woods can quickly turn to a deadly enemy. Be sure to take your cell phone if you are hunting in a location where you have cell coverage. Be sure to sign out at your club and then hunt where you sign out for. I was in a club a few years back where signing out for a hunting area was required but, it was a Tuesday and no one was at the club when a long time member decided he would hunt in a different location than the one he signed out for since there was a wind direction he had not calculated properly on. I got to the club about 45 minutes after he signed out and signed out for an area that was over a half mile from where he was signed out for. I parked at the designated spot for that stand and slowly made my way to the stand since I was a little late and thought a deer might possibly be in the field already. After a 20 minute slip to the stand, when “I got to the green field and was “glassing it” before walking out to my stand I caught some movement, of an orange cap he was waving! I just turned around and left, too mad to hunt and I went home. When “I saw him a few days later, he apologized and told me why he did it due to the wind change. I told him I understood but that he was still “in the wrong” and the safety rules he broke. We just avoided each other after that.
If you are hunting private land where there is no sign in process, atleast post a note on you truck and ATV telling your location. You may be knocked out and unable to summon any help.
Just remember, falls from tree stands kill and injure many hunters each year. Accidents involving tractors, four wheelers, chain saws, axes, machetes, and other tools have ruined alot of hunting seasons and created “forever injury” outcomes to those out trying to enjoy the beauty of our outdoors. BE PREPARED AND DON’T BE A VICTIM!
I have received a number of emails about my being absent from my blog for a few weeks. Well, on Friday the 13th I got sick and had to spend a few weeks in the hospital. Including a couple of weeks in ICU on a ventilator. Thank God for good doctors and nurses and thank God from answering prayers from my family and friends.
See you next week,