When deer season comes around, you have an excellent opportunity to get together with friends and family and explore the great outdoors — as well as show off your hunting prowess. However, handling firearms is never without risk — and the consequences of mishandling can be life-changing, particularly when you’re exploring unknown territory and not following hunting safety tips.
Before you plan your next trip, remember to get the right insurance. Lake Region Insurance Agency is one of the best agencies in MN to buy insurance from. You choose from a wide variety of coverage options in time for your next trip on our website.
However, that’s not all you should do to prepare for using weapons in the great outdoors. Here’s a list of our top hunting safety tips to ensure you and your family members are protected this deer season.
1. Assess Your Surroundings
The first and most important step to take before you go hunting is knowing your surroundings. People sometimes assume this means little more than checking if there’s anyone visible in the vicinity of your target — but there’s a lot more to hunting safety than simply making sure your weapon is pointed in a safe direction.
Make a Mental Map
First, we recommend knowing the area before you arrive and not picking a spontaneous spot to hunt. Uneven land and unknown bystanders could bring danger.
Scope out the area ahead of time and ask the following questions:
- Are you in private land, and who does it belong to?
- Where are the borders of the land?
- Does anyone live on this land?
- Is there anyone else likely to be on the land at the same time as you?
Consider Your Surroundings
Second, think about the density of your surroundings:
- Is the land flat or uneven?
- Are there lots of trees, and how densely packed are they?
- Do you have a good vantage point from your location, or would it be better to move elsewhere?
Think about whether your view might be obscured and if there may be other people within the vicinity who you can’t see when you identify your target.
Know Your Group
Third, make sure you fully account for your party:
- How many people are in your party?
- How old are they?
- How many of them have a firearms license?
- Are there any children who might not be aware of the risks involved in hunting?
Make sure you keep your finger off the trigger until every person in your party is standing behind you; nobody should be wandering off during a hunting trip.
If you follow these three steps before you identify your target and start shooting, you can rest assured that you have followed the appropriate safety tips during your hunting trip.
2. Get The Right Insurance
As hard as you might try to stop them, accidents do happen. And when they do, it’s essential to make sure you’re covered for any eventuality.
Failure to report a firearms-related incident while hunting is a Class A misdemeanor, so if you’re involved in one, you’ve got to make sure you report it to the police and your insurer.
There are several types of insurance related to hunting trips, and you must be covered for all of them from the right insurance company before you set off.
If you’re going on a hunting trip with your whole family, consider purchasing a family health insurance policy. It’s important to know you can bring a family member to the nearest medical facility, and they will receive care because they’re insured. You’ll also avoid hefty medical bills.
Some accidents can leave you unable to perform the day-to-day tasks of your work when you’re in recovery. To protect against this, make sure you take out an individual disability insurance policy so you’ll have a consistent level of income in the event of any sustained health issues.
Death is an experience that no one anticipates, but it’s still vital to plan for. Consider if you want an individual or group plan and whether you want a term life insurance or a more flexible permanent plan that you can withdraw cash from or borrow against.
Recreational Vehicle insurance
Many families like to make a whole weekend of their hunting trip and use a motor home, trailer home, or RV for accommodation. If you find yourself doing this, make sure you’ve got RV insurance.
While travel trailers don’t have to be insured, it’s a legal requirement for motor homes to have insurance before you take them on the road.
Where to Buy
When looking around for an insurance company, make sure you explore all the options that meet your specific needs. Don’t just think about price — also consider a provider that offers the widest possible coverage with solid customer reviews.
If you’re not sure which insurance company to get your coverage from, we recommend trying Lake Regional Insurance Agency. LRIA serves clients in Greater Minnesota and offers a wide range of insurance coverage, including:
3. Ensure You Use Tree Stands Appropriately
Tree stands are a great way to improve your hunting experience by offering you stability when you aim. You also receive an improved vantage point as opposed to ground-level shooting.
However, tree stands are also a major cause of accidents on hunting trips, so you must learn to use them safely and effectively.
Fasten the Tree Stand
Make sure your stand is securely fastened to the tree — don’t just assume that you’ve secured it right and test the stand’s stability before you start to use your firearm.
Practice Makes Perfect
Practice using your stand a few times before you use it for shooting. Many shooting ranges have practice stands that you can try out, so you get comfortable with how the stands work and how to keep your balance.
Wait to Load Your Gun
Finally, when you’re ready to hunt, don’t climb up the stand with your gun already loaded. Always unload firearms carry the ammunition separately, and then load your gun once you’re in position. This prevents any accidental shots if you lose balance when mounting the stand.
Follow These Hunting Safety Tips for Your Next Trip
Following these three hunting safety tips will ensure that your group is appropriately set for a safe trip this deer season. We recommend planning for your trip in advance by knowing the exact spots where your party will hunt. Practice mounting your tree and keep your gun unloaded until you finish mounting.
And, most importantly, never handle a weapon or set off on a hunting trip before you know you’re fully insured — if you don’t know where to get your coverage from, Lake Regional Insurance Agency is your best bet. Get in touch with our team today to discuss your options for insurance while hunting, and never forget these safety measures throughout deer season.