It’s a known fact: safe hunters bag better deer.

Okay, so we may not have the stats to back that particular truth up, but we do have some solid safety tips for Tennessee hunters this hunting season.

As the days cool off and the calendar swings into the heart of autumn — better known by some as deer hunting season — we feel like it’s our duty to share a few hunting safety suggestions. According to the International Hunter Education Association, approximately 1000 hunting injuries occur each year with close to 10% of these injuring resulting in death. So whether you’re a first-time hunter, a weekend enthusiast, or an experienced pro, it’s a good habit to review your hunting best practices before striking out into the woods.

Maintain Excellent Gun Safety Practices

First and foremost: treat your weapons and your hunting partners with the utmost respect. Before heading out for the hunt, make sure your firearm is properly maintained and in good working order by testing your equipment in a safe, controlled setting. Be sure to carry your registration, gun permit, and license at all times. Take gun safety and hunting education courses before heading into the woods — especially if you haven’t been hunting in a while, you’re a first-time hunter,\ or are hunting with a minor. Store, carry and transport your ammunition separately from your firearm. Whenever you see, look at, pick up, or carry a firearm, treat it as if it were loaded. Never, ever point a weapon at another human being. Be sure that the safety is engaged when not in use. Keep your finger off the trigger and trigger guard until you’re ready to shoot. Before shooting clearly confirm your target and take note of what lies beyond your intended target.

Leave the Fashion Camo at Home

Wearing hunters orange dramatically reduces the chances of being mistaken for an 8-point buck. Blaze orange saves lives, so accessorize liberally. It’s also safe (and wise) move to dress for warmth. Although firearm accidents are the primary cause of hunting injuries, hypothermia is no laughing matter. Dress in layers, invest in hand and foot warmers, and avoid moisture-retaining materials like cotton.

No Drinking

Do not consume alcohol or any other controlled substances while hunting. The use of drugs or alcohol may significantly impact your judgment and your level of awareness. Not only is it dangerous, but it’s counterproductive to the likelihood of a successful hunt. Water and coffee are, of course, encouraged!

Keep Your Emotions in Check

Hunting can be as exhilarating as it can be exhausting. Remain alert, avoid sudden movements (which can lead to itchy trigger fingers), and stay calm and focused at all times.  

Hunt with Friends

It’s a good practice to let someone know when you’re heading off to hunt. It’s an even better bet to hunt with a partner and to establish a clear emergency plan. Keep your hunting party safe by securing firearms as your partner climbs into a blind, help scope clean lines of fire, and be available to assist an injured friend if necessary. If you become separated from your partner, be sure to know where they are at all times and have an established form of communication.

Safety in the Trees

Practice good tree safety. When using tree stands, follow the installation instructions carefully and be sure to check for equipment integrity. When using a tree stand, always wear fall restraints and a safety harness. And finally, when climbing into a tree, ask your hunting partner to hold your gun as you climb.

Protect Yourself, Your Friends, and Your Belongings from the Unexpected

Hunting is an adventure, and it pays to expect the unexpected. While we hope that accidents never happen, it’s a smart bet to make sure you have adequate levels of personal liability protection, excellent emergency medical coverage, travel insurance, and comprehensive ATV insurance.

For more information about personal liability, ATV insurance, and more, contact Royce Williams Insurance. Safe hunting!

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