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Maryland

Hunting

Hunting Safety Tips

Hunting Safety Tips

Tree stand accidents are the leading cause of hunter injuries in Maryland. Most tree stand accidents occur in the transition between a climbing device and the tree stand.

  • Always practice and understand the manufacturer’s recommendations for use of any climbing equipment or tree stand.
  • Keep all tree stands, and climbing equipment in good repair.
  • Practice with stands, harness, and climbing equipment at ground level first.
  • Use only full-body safety harness/fall restraint systems and a lifeline when climbing a tree or in a tree stand.
  • Only climb healthy trees. Even live branches may give way under your weight.
  • Use three points of contact with the tree or climbing device for a secure hold.
  • Climb higher than your stand and step down onto it.
  • Wear boots with non-skid soles to prevent slips.
  • Use a haul line to get hunting equipment into and out of your stand. Guns should be unloaded and broad heads covered.
  • Don’t fall asleep in your stand.
  • Tell others where you will hunt and when you will return.

    Firearms Safety Tips

  • Treat every gun as if it were loaded.
  • Never point a gun at anything you don’t want to shoot.
  • Always control the muzzle direction in case of a fall.
  • Keep the barrel and action clear of obstructions. Carry only the proper ammunition for your firearm.
  • Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
  • Unload guns and open the action when not in use.
  • Never climb or jump with a loaded gun.
  • Never pull the gun toward you by the muzzle.
  • Never shoot a bullet at flat, hard surfaces or water.
  • Store guns and ammunition safely and securely.
  • Never use alcoholic beverages or medications before or during the use of a firearm.

    Archery Safety Tips

  • Be sure of your target and what is beyond it before you shoot.
  • Keep broadheads covered and only knock an arrow or load a bolt when you are ready to shoot.
  • Never run, climb or jump with knocked arrow or a bolt loaded in a crossbow.
  • Keep hands away from drawn crossbow strings and cables.
  • Practice frequently with your hunting arrows and bolts to know your accuracy and distance limitations.
  • Always use manufacturer recommended arrow or bolt weights.

    Turkey Hunting Safety Tips

  • Follow all firearms hunting safety recommendations.
  • Call out in a loud, clear voice to announce your presence to other approaching hunters.
  • Don’t wear red, white, blue or black colors that may be mistaken for the colors of a wild turkey gobbler.
  • Cover harvested turkeys and decoys when carrying them.
  • Stalking turkey sounds may put you and the hunter making them in danger.
  • Protect your back from other hunters approaching from behind.