Safety Tips During Hunting Season
Gunshot wounds are an obvious health risk during hunting season, but there are other dangerous accidents that can send hunters to the hospital or worse. Emergency medicine physician Eric Grube, D.O., of the Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse, Wis., is a hunter himself and says he tries to lead by example. “Hunting can be a fun sport for all to enjoy. But we need to make sure that fun isn’t spoiled by some unfortunate accident.”
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- Watch for heart attack warning signs.
- Falls tend to be the most common cause of injuries and often happen when a hunter is up a tree and startled by animals there.
- Always check equipment and stands, and use safety belts to prevent falls. Permanent tree stands are more likely to deteriorate and should be avoided.
- Avoid alcohol. Hunters are more susceptible to injuries, including frostbite and hypothermia, if they've been drinking.
- Let family members know where you'll be hunting, and take two-way radios or loud whistles along in case help is needed.
- Learn some basic first aid before heading to the woods, including how to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation or hands-only CPR, which consists of chest compressions, should a hunting partner have a heart attack.