posted on October 10, 2008 08:58
Be Safe... Have Fun!
Dress for Success - Fall Turkey Safety Tips
The best hunt is a SAFE hunt! Both novice and experienced sportsmen should continuously review basic safety practices. The fall turkey season requires different tactics and safety precautions from the spring gobbler season. Dressing right is the key to both safe and successful turkey hunting. While sitting still is most important, full camouflage helps hunters blend into the surroundings and elude the turkey's keen eyesight. But, those aren't the only eyes that could be fooled. Other hunters could mistake a hunter dressed in full camouflage using a turkey call for a wild turkey. Hunt defensively- keep in mind, when you hear a turkey call or see movement, it could very well be another hunter. Assume you are not alone in the woods and act accordingly. Your firearm, clothing, and turkey calls are all-important equipment, but thinking safety is the best tool a hunter can use.
The National Wild Turkey Federation and VDGIF Volunteer Hunter Education Instructors teach these rules to dress for success and safety:
- Never wear bright colors, especially not red, white, blue or black because these are the colors of a wild turkey.
- Wear dark undershirts and socks, and pants long enough to be tucked into boots.
Camouflage your gun.
- Keep your hands and head camouflaged when calling
- Select a spot that is in the open woods rather than thick brush: wearing camouflage clothing and eliminating movement is more critical to success than hiding in heavy cover.
- When using a camouflage blind or netting, maintain a clear field of view.
- Dress in layers to adjust to temperature changes.
- Wear blaze orange when walking to and from calling positions and when setting up or moving decoys. Wearing blaze orange is always recommended. However, if you choose not to, tie a strip of blaze orange to a nearby tree to alert others of your presence.
Ultimately, every hunter is responsible for identifying their target and beyond before pulling the trigger. Most hunting fatalities are the result of the hunter not making sure of his or her target, or shooting at sound or movement. Treat every firearm as if it were loaded. Before you go out, let someone know where you will be hunting and when you expect to return. Take a few emergency items with you - snacks, water, safety whistle, a fold up space blanket, a method to light a fire, extra batteries for radios or GPS and fully charge your cell phone.
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