“One of the more common injuries I have encountered is the trauma caused by a scope recoil,” said Dr. Benham, a surgeon in Manitowoc. “As any good hunter knows, the gun’s accuracy needs to be checked before going into the field. When sighting in your gun, remember the eye relief of the scope should allow you to keep a safe distance between the scope and the orbit of your eye.”
Here are some of Dr. Benham’s other hunting safety tips:
- Considering enrolling in a hunting safety course. These courses address safety issues such as gun handling and loading, and discharge of the weapon. Says Dr. Benham, “I highly recommend that everyone, no matter your age or experience, take a course. You will be surprised how much you can learn.”
- Wear clothing appropriate for the weather, and “expect the unexpected” when it comes to weather.
- Exercise and stretch regularly. Proper cardiovascular fitness is needed to endure the rigors of hunting. And stretching can help avoid some injuries.
- When removing a harvested animal from the field can be very strenuous, use a cart, get help from a friend, and take your time.
- Visit your doctor for your yearly physical in preparation for the fall hunting season.
- Don’t forget tree stand safety. Straps that hold the stand to the tree need to be checked, as does the stand itself, for weathering and wear. Use a cord to raise and lower your unloaded weapon so you can concentrate on safely climbing the stand. Wear a good safety harness to prevent falls.
- Be aware of Chronic Wasting Disease. Follow safety guidelines when handling harvested animals or processing meat. Contact the DNR if questions arise.