Beacon Ortho is providing some helpful safety tips for area hunters.
Covid-19 or coronavirus has changed so much over the last seven months. We are socially distancing. We are working from home. We have limited many of the activities we love with an eye toward stemming the spread of the deadly virus. And by and large, it is working. However, one thing that returns this year (as it has done annually) is deer season. According to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Firearms Deer Season opens November 14th.
Pandemic or no, each year I remind everyone to brush up on the current guidelines before getting out there. Conscientious hunters know how to be careful and know the rules of the woods. However, it’s always good to refresh our memories – for everyone’s safety.
I love hunting and so given my firsthand experience and training, I offer these seven tips to ensure a safe and fun time in the woods. Of course, this does not take the place of a certified hunter’s education course, which is available, online at www.hunter-ed.com/indiana/, but I offer these reminders for the experienced hunter and a good starting point for the novice. These are essential to hunting safety.
1. First and foremost, know your firearm or bow. Treat every firearm with the same respect you show a loaded firearm. Know the safety system, the range of the weapon, the safe way to load and unload, and how to assemble/disassemble and clean the weapon. Your weapon is your responsibility, so know everything about it.
2. Before heading into the woods, make sure someone knows where you are going and your expected return time. A simple slip or fall in the wrong conditions could be catastrophic if no one knows where to look for you. It is a good idea to always hunt with someone else, in case of an accident. And if possible, let others know in what area of the woods you’ll be hunting.
3. Identify your target absolutely without any doubt and then identify what is beyond your target, shoot only when you are sure. Firearms are consistently improving, and hunting lands are decreasing, so be aware of your surroundings -- including other hunters, houses, roads, etc.
4. Unload the firearm when it is not in use. Keep your guns unloaded and arrows in your quiver when you are traveling to and from your stand or shooting areas.
5. Follow the laws regarding the amount of hunter’s orange you must have visible (when hunting with a firearm). This keeps you well-seen by other hunters in the area.
6. Check (and double-check) your tree stands (straps, chains, clamps, etc.) and always wear a safety harness. One strained strap or rusted brace can cause a tree stand to collapse possibly causing injury or even death. Take a minute to check.
7. Don’t hunt while under the influence of drugs or alcohol – These substances impair judgment as well as your ability to control your emotions. This is not only for your protection but also for others nearby.
Of course, we all hope, plan and dream of the trophies and memories we will gain through the outdoor hunting experience. However, before we head out to the woods, we also must be careful; to take our time; to do the right thing; to be ethical; and to always follow the rules.
That said, if you experience pain from pulling back your bow, missing a step from your tree stand or retrieving your harvest, come see me at Beacon Orthopaedics. We will put together a plan of care to fit your needs – together.
Appointments are available at Beacon West, Lawrenceburg and Batesville, along with Saturday morning injury clinics and urgent care at Erlanger and Summit Woods. Striving to ensure patient and staff health, Beacon offers Telehealth Video Visits and when seeing patients in person, they are using all approved safety protocols, including temperature checks, masks, hand sanitizing.
Providing a safe environment to diagnose and recommend the next steps for any injury is always the right thing to do. If you need to talk with a medical professional, please don’t hesitate to visit our website to make an appointment or call 513-354-3700 to schedule an appointment.