Mayo Clinic – tips for safe hunting season

 A 22-year-old man is dead following a hunting accident in the Osgoode-area.

A 911 call came in at about 7 p.m. last night and apparently the man shot himself accidently. My condolence to the family at this extremely difficult time.

Although hunting is generally considered a safe sport compared to many, accidents do occurs and hunters are reminded to be diligent whenever a firearm is in use.

Our hunt gang prides itself on safety. We are always cautious and aware when handling a rifle a hunting situation. No shell can be chambered in presence of any other hunter and gun cases are always used in accordance with the law.

I also understand how easily an accident can happen. One time 20 years ago, our hunting partner had just taken his first buck and I was first to arrive on the scene. At the time, he was so filled with adrenaline hadn’t realized that his rifle was still loaded and cocked, and he was waving it all around.

I took his firearm from him right away, unloaded it and placed it safely at a dry spot on the ground. Nothing bad happened that day, but even a split second indiscretion can be deadly.

Good luck out there this fall and please make sure to have a safe and productive hunting season.

Again, my sincere condolences to the family involved in this terrible hunting accident in Osgoode.


I just received this Press Release from the Mayo Clinic and thought I’d share it.

There are some good tips in there!


Keeping Hunters Out of the Hospital: Mayo Expert Offers Tips for a Safe Hunting Season

Errant gunshots are an obvious health risk during fall hunting season, but a range of other dangers also can send hunters to the hospital or worse: heart attacks, injured backs and broken bones are among the most common medical emergencies. Emergency medicine physician Eric Grube, D.O.,of the Mayo Clinic Health System  ( in La Crosse offers several tips for a safe hunting season. 

 “I am a hunter and always need to remind myself to lead by example when I’m in the woods,” Dr. Grube says. “Hunting can be a fun sport for all to enjoy. But we need to make sure that fun isn’t spoiled by some unfortunate accident.”

Hunters should make sure they are properly educated about their surroundings. They also should be diligent with safety precautions, wear clothing suitable for hunting and for the weather, stay level headed, and always alert other hunters to their presence, he says.

Other tips from Dr. Grube:

*Watch for heart attack warning signs. One study of middle-aged male deer hunters found that the activities inherent to hunting — walking over rough terrain, shooting an animal and dragging its carcass, for example — sent their heart rates up significantly. Although opinion varies, many doctors caution that exercising at more than 85 percent of a person’s maximum heart rate increases the risk of heart attack. Hunters unaccustomed to the strenuous hikes involved should take several breaks to rest, Dr. Grube says.

 *Falls tend to be the most common cause of injuries, and often happen when a hunter is up a tree and startled by animals there. Pay attention to your surroundings at all times.

*Always check equipment and stands and use safety belts to prevent falls. Permanent tree stands are more likely to deteriorate and should be avoided. The average fall from a tree stand is about 15 feet. Injuries suffered from those heights can cause broken bones, paralysis, or even death.

*Avoid alcohol. Hunters are more susceptible to injuries, including frostbite and hypothermia, if they’ve been drinking. 

*Let family members know where you’ll be hunting and take two-way radios or loud whistles along in case help is needed. A surprisingly large number of hunting accidents occur between family members and friends who have

gone out together, but do not remember or know where their party has gone, Dr. Grube says.

*Learn some basic first aid before heading to the woods, including how to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation or hands-only CPR, which consists of chest compressions, should a hunting partner have a heart attack.

Dr. Grube notes four basic rules of firearm safety from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources ( known as TAB-K: Treat every firearm as if it is loaded, always point the muzzle in a safe direction, be certain of your target and what’s beyond it, and keep your finger outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot.

For example, if a hunter stumbles with a firearm in one hand and nothing in the other, whatever that person does with the free hand will automatically happen with the hand holding the gun, the agency notes. So if a finger is inside the trigger guard, that hand will likely close around the pistol grip of the gun and on the trigger causing an unwanted discharge.

10 thoughts on “Mayo Clinic – tips for safe hunting season”

  1. Stay in reasonably good shape
    you don’t have to be an Olympic marathoner, but you should have good cardio
    wearing good hiking/huning boots with good tread, they’ll stop a lot of slips
    wear hunter orange, on chest, and on HEAD
    I know it’s not mandatory in Quebec, but why wouldn’t you wear an orange hat, deer and moose don’t see colour like we do anyway

  2. There’s only 3 rules that everyone needs to practice…..

    Muzzle control, Muzzle Control and Muzzle Control.

    Master that and everrthing else is secondary.

  3. Such a tragedy that a young life has ended this way. My heart goes out to the family.

    From what I read about the incident, the young man slipped in some mud, fell and his firearm accidently discharged. I wonder if his safety was on?

    It’s something I am constantly harping about when my son and I are in the bush.

  4. I’ll have my son read this and really get on him this year, he is already very careful but this just proves you can’t be too careful, this is very sad, a whole family has lost a loved one over one tiny mistake

  5. My heart goes out to the family. We all know that despite every precaution, stuff can happen.

    Such a sad situation 🙁

  6. hi jeff hearing stories like this must make all hunters cringe i had an incident some years back where a very good friend of mine who was hunting deer with us started shooting his 30-30 at a herd coming over the hill in a 400 acre field i could hear the rounds buzzing by my head and pinging off the gravel road i immediately yelled at another guy in a nearby treeblind to tell him to cease fire.Working with special ops personel for years i knew by the sounds of the bullets how close i was to being hit after a lengthy discussion we concluded that the spot he had got hung up in was actually not that safe to commit a shot fire call.Since that moment in time we have never had an incident like this happen again my sympathies go out to this hunters family for their loss .

  7. Terrible tragedy. My condolences to the family, and especially to the hunting group.
    I like the line of letting people know where you are going. Even when leaving on a hunt in the morning or evening, we always discuss where everyone is going. If you leave camp, tell someone. I briefly left camp and went down a trail to the river to clean myself up last year, without telling anyone. On my way back up the trail, I herad a loud “thump!” I looked up and saw an archery target in the middle of the trail. Two of partners had set-up a target in an area they thought was safe without knowing where I was. I was lucky buddy has a great shot.
    Stay safe out there!

  8. Good points Mike and GPG.

    Brings me to another point – GPS units. If you need to buy one, buy a Garmin Rino. Aside from the many other benefits you’ve probably heard me talk about, the most important is safety.

    Why? Because these units SHOW you where you other hunters are in the bush. So, if you hear sounds coming, you know it’s probably your hunter if their icon is close to you (not always, but a good chance). Or, for example, you’re standing at a beaver dam let’s say, and you see an icon for a fellow hunter further down the pond, well don’t shoot if a deer goes between you etc… So many examples. Alot of it is common sense, but I find I use it quite often for safety.

    Keep safe folks.

  9. keebler and others. some of you may have had more experience hunting then me. when doing a dog we put watcher in certain areas and they are told where they can shoot and where they cant shoot, and where to stand. on one of my trips to the usa, was participating on a dog and when we came out the stander was shy of his “post” by over 100 yards he was immediately told to go home and was no longer welcome to hunt with the group. at the time i thought that was a little harsh but they explained it to me and it made scene . so when you guys set up camp this moose season or deer season put the beer away for a extra few hours and draw diagrams and lay out your runs and where people are to stand make sure everyone knows where to go and tell them its for there own good. . let every one come home from a good hunt …

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