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- Prostaff Member Trout Whisperer
This is the time of year we, as outdoors people, lose some members. All the headlines, or radio broadcasts will air or print the hunting fatalities and deer hunter heart attacks, tree stand tip over casualties and drowning duck hunters to mention just a few. We as a group have some hard to digest statistics. One thing even worse is the fatal number.
This year we all need to watch our backstop when shooting and remember the ten commandments of gun safety. Take time to put on a life jacket. Put one good compass in your pocket. Maybe at the deer shack bring in a first aid kit and a fire extinguisher. To push it one further, have a look and make sure the fireplace or chimney is clear. The great outdoors can claim a duck or duck hunter with the exact final result. Cell phones are great in an emergency. But with a little more care and less haste you can really for go some possibly bad family memories.
More often than not you hunt with good friends or family. Make the call on the phone, not for 911, but to celebrate the harvest of nice deer. Keep the young ones close. Show them your expertise over a couple of years before perching them all alone on a deer stand. Maybe during a deer drive they walk with one of the veterans. While duck hunting possibly alternate shots. With a four bird limit where I live it adds to the hunt time.
Warm dry gear in any of the fall outdoor pursuits keeps everyone from the cold or catching a cold. Heaven forbid you get in a hypothermia situation. Wet clothes or a submersion in fall fishing or waterfowl hunting is not to be taken lightly.
One more, while I'm on the soap box. If you talk to a first responder, it can take a long time to rescue someone who hit a tree with an ATV or snowmobile out on a remote lake. That's WITH a 911 call. It may take a long, long, long time for the responders to safely get to a potential disaster and then get you to a hospital.
Planning ahead also includes if you happen upon someone in trouble. How can you help? Where is help? These are good things to go over as a group and especially any new member of your hunting party. My Sunday paper will have special mention of any wedding announcements. New babies get there own page to include the proud parents and grandparents. The flip side to this is that the divorces are tucked away in the legal section. Divorces are on a separate day from wedding announcements. The babies born are never shown next to the obituaries. You make a mistake in the woods. Any mistake. You will be on the front page of the sporting or outdoor section.
As users of the outdoors we are held to a completely different standard. So be careful this fall and have a great season however you participate.