Monday, February 6th, 2023
Monday, February 6th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

The hunter migration has begun

Shane MalawyMany of my fellow outdoorsmen and women are emerging from their summer lairs and heading into the pre-deer season woods. The mission is obvious: do some pre-season scouting and get those tree stands up.

The shorter days, cooler temperatures and the overall feel of fall have each of us a little —  in my case, a lot — geared up for the start of the Illinois archery season. Sometimes, in our excitement, we lose focus on what should be foremost in our minds. While shooting our bows, de-scenting our clothing, placing trail cameras, caring for food plots and numerous trips to the outdoor store are all important, safety should be our number one priority.

We all know someone who has been involved in some type of hunting or outdoor accident. Some of us may have even experienced our own misfortune in the deer woods. Below are just a few helpful suggestions in keeping yourself safe during your pre-season and regular season deer hunting adventures.

–      Take someone with you. If you have to go it alone, let someone know where you are going.
–      Always carry a cell phone or other reliable means of communication with you.
–      Make a thorough inspection of your elevated stand, whether it is a lock-on type, ladder or permanent construction type. Check all connection points, welds and pivot points. Discard or repair the stand before use.
–      Use a safety harness when attaching your stand to the tree.
–      Secure the stand tightly.
–      Check the security of the stand frequently throughout the season. As the tree sways in the wind, straps may become loose. Ladder type stands may settle into the soil and become loose as well. Make sure all stands are   secured tightly.
–      Never try to place any stand without assistance.
–      Do not overreach when trimming shooting lanes
–      Never climb with anything in your hands. Pull equipment up with a rope.
–   Above all, use common sense. If something looks or feels unsafe, it probably is.

These are just some common safety tips that that you should adhere to when you start your pre-season preparations. Remember, a broken arm or leg could put you out of the woods for an entire season. Something more serious could put you out of the woods permanently. Happy (and safe) Hunting!

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