Keeping safe while hunting in the woods

Keeping safe while hunting in the woods

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Most hunters head out into the woods with hopes of bagging a big buck, while their spouses worry if they'll ever see their loved ones again. This past weekend, two hunters in Missouri died and one was injured in separate accidents.

When hunters go to the woods, the accident could happen in the blink of an eye.

Donald Sprinkle, an avid hunter, said his wife worries every weekend he leaves. He said he tries to do everything he can to make it home.

"One thing I make sure is that I've got my (hunter) orange on and I never carry my gun with the shell in chamber," said Sprinkle. "That's the main thing, especially getting up in your stand."

Graham Eldridge at DNW Outdoors agreed with Sprinkle. Eldridge said one of the biggest dangers is when hunters get in and out of their stand.

"Hunters will pull their gun up to the tree stand loaded," said Eldridge. "If they're sitting in the climbing stand or something, (it's) definitely a no no."

Some tree stands have arm rests and some have bars to keep the hunter from falling. Nearly all stands need to include harnesses for the hunter.

"Having a harness, so if you slip and fall it's going to catch you," Sprinkle said.

It's also important to know your surroundings. Just this year, a Harrisburg man got lost in a wooded area overnight after he became confused where he was. Fortunately, he was found the following morning.

Hunters also need to know the tree stand is safe to stand on.

"Last weekend there was a lot of ice on them," said Sprinkle. "You have to be real careful going up and down then. In fact, I didn't even go up. I stayed on the ground."

It's also important for the hunter not to be careless with their gun. Guns could end up with something stuck in the barrel, leading to major problems if fired.

Eldridge said hunters should not have a round in the chamber in case they run into a problem.

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