Hunting Hazards

There are several hunting hazards that a hunter faces and some of them are not normally seen as hazards to the average hunter.

  • One of these hazards are insects along with their injected microbal invisible hunting hazards which can lead to a lifetime of pain and illness.

  • Another invisible hazard is noise. Gun noise is easily loud enough to cause permanent hearing loss. A shot or two a day does a little imperceptible damage but the real damage is done during practice or sighting scopes.

  • Eye damage is always a possibility. Damage from invisible ultraviolet light can happen quickly if hunting a field during bright sunlight. The possibility of an exploding barrel or  exploding misfired ejected shell is remote but if it happens blindness can be forever. Blindness is not the only permanent injury which can result from a barrel exploding event. Shrapnel can be sent into any part of the body the head, chest and especially hands and arms. A ripped artery's result is obvious and severed ligaments can put to an end many actions we take for granted the ability to hold and even shoot a gun for instance.

The Greatest Hunting Hazard Is Getting Lost

Most of us do not plan to or for getting lost. Maybe most have a compass in the pack, but do you ever check the location of your vehicle relative to North so you will know what direction to walk when lost? Most of us do not carry a topographical map of the area to complement the use of the compass and if so do you really know how to use the compass and the map together? You say "but I carry a GPS" - that is a very smart thing to do but do you think to set the location of your vehicle as a Way Point or set the GPS screen to track so you can follow the route you came in on back. Sometimes though the closest way back is not the way you came, can you quickly reset your GPS to what you will need? I use my boat and vehicles' GPS's quite often but do not think of my my hand held until I get ready to go hunting, even then I have forgotten to check the battery level. Many things can happen that can get hunters lost. If you have ever been lost you know the helpless feeling when the fact is realized.

I know as I once became lost in a National Forrest which was crisscrossed by many timber logging roads which all looked alike, it was getting late and the sky was overcast and there was a lot of snow on the ground. This was before the days of GPS and I did not bring a compass or much else because I was not going to be gone long enough to need it. Famous last thoughts; I actually experienced the "going in s circle" syndrome. When I came across my own tracks the second time (I thought I had compensated the first time)I literally became nauseous to the point of loosing it.

I was in Northern Minnesota and for the first time in a couple of hours of being lost I finally remembered to check and see if the moss really grew on the "North Side of the Trees". The first ones I checked along the open road had such a little difference that I did not trust them to strike out through the forest.

Even though the air was so still I could not detect a breeze. I did though notice a slight snow bank along all the trees on one side of the road and these banks had a little crustiness to them. This little detail brought back the memory of a Weather Channel picture of two days before, showing the direction the snow storm had come from. I deduced that the ramps were on the Northwest side.I had not crossed a logging trail going that direction in a long time and since I had not crossed the road I had driven in and parked beside I deduced that I had to head slightly to the left of the ramps, which I did, off the ruts through the trees. I was in the brush for about five minutes and surprisingly came across my road. Not knowing which way the car was I decided to walk one way for as long as I had been lots and first looked at my watch then turn around and try twice that long back the other way. A few minutes later I came across a curve in the road away from the direction which I had exited the woods. I did nor r ember that curve driving in so turned around and headed the other way. About an eighth of a mile after I passed wher I exited the woods I saw my car. By this time it was so dark I could hardly see, oh did I tell you I forgot to bring a flashlight?

I had never given a thought to getting lost. Since that time I have never gone hunting without my survival kit one of which stays in the vehicles no matter where we go. There was no excuse because living in Northern Minnesota we always had a survival kit in the vehicles.

Everyone in the snow and ice prone areas is taught to carry a survival kit in their vehicles because there was always a chance it would be needed - Why did I not give it a thought before going into the woods hunting? I don't know but I suspect it is a matter of awareness and planning.

My problem that day could have been prevented had I made a check list and kept it with my hunting supplies. Even though I now live in South Texas I will never be with out a Survival Kit at arms length, we have several now along with Content Lists the only differences in the kits are that the Hurricane Kit and List and the car and truck kits differ a little from the Boat kit and my hunting kit is a little more compact than those.

From surviving a hurricane which I have also recently done to surviving being lost in the American Outback depends on being prepared. Being prepared includes becoming educated as to the survival techniques needed for staying alive anywhere and anytime and realizing as I now do it can happen to anybody.