Hunting and fishing are two of America’s favorite outdoor activities, and they can be done nearly any time of year. These sports give people the opportunity to spend time outdoors with friends and family while enjoying the thrill of landing a trophy to eat and display. The best way to enjoy a hunting or fishing trip is to remain safe, and our tips will help you and your fellow hunters and anglers put safety first.
1. Use Navigation Aids
Unless you hunt or fish in the same place every time, you should be sure to have navigational aids with you when you hit the trail or waterside. You likely will hunt or fish in an area with limited or no cell service, so use common sense and remember the landscape around you to avoid getting lost.
Two navigational aids that use natural materials are cairns and portions of trees. Using these aids will barely disturb the environment and ensure you don’t leave behind any litter. Cairns, or piles of rocks, mark trailheads or trail direction. You also can use cairns to signal areas of caution along your way. Stack stones in a system familiar to you and your companions so everyone knows the meaning of the pattern. Consider placing the stones in easy-to-see places near trails in the shapes of arrows, too.
Another navigational aid is a log, branch, or downed tree. Move these items to point them in the direction of your camping area to avoid getting lost. Or, use them to line paths or block misleading trails or areas your hunting or fishing party should avoid.
If you hunt or fish in a densely wooded area, or if there is fog, use fluorescent construction ribbons as navigational aids. Place these six-inch pieces of cloth along a trail to help everyone find their way. Just be sure to remove them all at the end of your trip. If you are hunting in especially thick pines, check out these tips from GrowingDeer.tv.
2. Prepare Your RV with the Necessities Ahead of Time
If you are going on an extended hunting or fishing trip, you likely are taking an RV. Be sure to make an appointment to have your RV serviced before departing. A general inspection ensures your tires can handle your trip and are filled to the correct pressure; if the mechanic is concerned about low tread, you should replace them so you don’t risk hydroplaning. Have the mechanic check your brakes, belts, and fluids and filters before you hit the road, too. You want your travels to be just as safe as your hunting and fishing time, and an RV inspection is necessary.
Pack your RV ahead of time, too, or run the risk of forgetting an item that will be difficult to find in the great outdoors. Be sure to turn on your refrigerator ahead of time and wait until it reaches 38-40 degrees before you add food. Take a cooler for water and fruit and so you have a backup should anything go wrong with your power or refrigerator. Pack the necessities for eating and cooking, and pack extra clothes so you can dress in layers as the weather changes. These simple tasks will ensure your comfort and safety throughout your trip.
3. Ensure Everyone Has Undergone Proper Training
If you’re new to hunting and fishing, or if you are traveling with young or novice outdoorsmen, consider undergoing more hunter education training or outdoor training from State Fish and Game authorities. These courses help hunters and anglers avoid and prevent accidents and understand how to spend time outdoors responsibly. Hunters should follow basic safety rules such as always acting as though a firearm is loaded and knowing how to control the firearm’s muzzle at all times.
Anglers, on the other hand, need to be aware of hunting seasons in their fishing areas. The last thing you want to do is stand in a heavily hunted area and be mistaken for an animal. Outdoor training will help you learn which type of clothing to wear to protect yourself; for example, you should wear orange, red, fluorescent yellow, or bright blue so hunters can identify you. Fishing during hunting season is less dangerous when you know how to keep yourself safe.
Staying safe while hunting and fishing involves using navigational aids, preparing your RV ahead of time, and ensuring everyone has had the proper safety training.
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