Tips for bow hunting safely
LANSING – Michigan’s bowhunting season opened Oct. 1, and Department of Natural Resources conservation officers are sharing tips for a safe bowhunting experience.
“Bowhunting is a popular pastime in Michigan and we want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable hunting season,” said Sgt. Tom Wanless, supervisor of the DNR’s hunter education program. “There are some common-sense safety tips every hunter should review before heading to the woods.”
The top safety tips for bowhunting are:
Before you go out, inspect equipment, including your tree stand. If anything is worn, frayed, cracked or peeling, replace it or get it fixed. If using a compound bow or crossbow, make sure the cables and pulleys are in good working order.
When sharpening broadheads, be careful and take your time.
Practice tree-stand safety. Nearly every year, a Michigan hunter is killed or seriously injured because he or she fell out of a tree stand. The DNR recommends using a full-body safety harness to get into and out of your tree stand.
If using a tree stand, always use a haul line to raise and lower your gear.
Keep arrows in the quiver until you are ready to use them. A common injury is to stab or injure yourself or a hunting companion while carrying arrows in your hand or nocked on your bow.
Obtain permission from a landowner before hunting on his or her land, or using their land to access public land.
Never take a shot at a deer that is beyond the maximum effective range at which you are comfortable shooting.
If you are successful, field dress your deer and cool its meat immediately. Michigan’s unpredictable weather means we sometimes have warm October days. Warm temperatures can cause the meat to spoil quickly.
When heading out to the woods, make sure you tell someone reliable where you are going and what time to expect you back. This information is valuable in helping conservation officers or sheriff’s deputies to find you if you are lost.
Also, think about carrying a cell phone, a compass, a flashlight and other small safety items when in the woods.
For more information about Michigan’s conservation officers, go to michigan.gov/conservationofficers. For more information about hunting in Michigan, go to michigan.gov/hunting.