BOWHUNTERS URGED TO PRACTICE SAFETY AFIELD
Safety is always a mandatory consideration for bowhunters because they
scale trees, use tree-stands, hunt in remote areas and hunt with razor-sharp
"There probably hasn't been a year in the past 20 where someone hasn't
fallen out of a tree or tree-stand, or cut themselves with a broadhead while
afield in the archery season," said Keith Snyder, Game Commission
hunter-trapper education chief. "But most of these accidents can be avoided
if bowhunters use proper fall-restraint devices and carefully handle
Many of the dangers bowhunters face can be eliminated or reduced
considerably with common sense and foresight. It's also a huge plus to be in
shape, to get plenty of sleep before you hunt, and to move slowly with firm
footing when afield.
"The potential to get hurt while hunting deer is a threat all archers
must be mindful of from the time they enter the woods until they leave,"
Snyder explained. "Climbing trees and handling broadhead-tipped arrows,
dragging deer considerable distances and sitting 10 to 20 feet off the
ground in trees for hours on end, is very serious business. If you make a
mistake, it may very will plague you for the rest of your life."
There are a variety of safety tips all bowhunters should consider before
they head afield. They include:
|Make sure someone knows where you're hunting and when you expect to
return home. Leave a note or topographic map with your family or a friend.
Pack a cellular telephone for emergencies.
|Always use a fall-restraint device - preferably a full-body harness -
when hunting from a treestand. Wear the device from the moment you leave
the ground until you return. Don't climb dead, wet or icy trees. Stay on
the ground on blustery days.
|Get in good physical condition before the season starts. Fatigue can
impact judgment, coordination and reaction time. Staying physically fit
makes a difference.
|Always carry a whistle to signal passersby in case you become
immobile. A compass and matches or lighter also are essential survival
gear items to have along. An extra flashlight bulb also can be helpful.
|Use a hoist rope to lift your bow and backpack to your treestand.
Trying to climb with either will place you at unnecessary risk.
|Don't sleep in a treestand! If you can't stay awake, return to the
|Always carry broadhead-tipped arrows in a protective quiver.
|If you use a mechanical release, always keep your index finger away
from the trigger when drawing.
|Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for all equipment and check
your equipment before each use.
|Practice climbing with your treestand before dawn on the opening day
of the season. Consider placing non-slip material on the deck of your
tree-stand if it's not already there.
Bowhunters may use deer calls, attractant and cover scents, mechanical
broadheads, lighted sight pins and mechanical releases. However, it is
illegal to use baits, salt blocks, liquid mineral mixes and
transmitter-tracking arrows. Bowhunters may not possess a firearm while
|Tree-stands and climbing devices that cause damage to trees are
unlawful to use or occupy unless the user has written permission from the
landowner. Tree-stands - or tree steps - penetrating a tree's cambium
layer cause damage. It is unlawful to construct or occupy constructed
tree-stands on State Game Lands, state forests or state parks.
|Bowhunters must wear at least 250 square inches of fluorescent orange
clothing while moving to and from stand locations during any overlap with
fall turkey hunting seasons and the early muzzleloader and special
firearms antlerless deer seasons. The orange may be removed when the
bowhunter is in a tree or ground stand, but in doing so, a 100-square inch
or larger orange band must be displayed within 15 feet of his or her