If you’re a hunter, and there seem to be at least half a million of you out there, you probably have an array of weapons at your disposal. You’ve read up and you know how to pick a blind site, you’re proficient in calling waterfowl, laying out decoys is a science you’ve perfected, you’ve studied deer sign and detect the subtle to the dramatic, you're able to put the puzzle pieces together to track your prize because you’ve made in-depth discoveries on the life habits of deer. You know what you’re doing and whether it’s a bow and arrow or a gun, you know your weapon as well as the habits of the animal you’re tracking.
Why do you hunt? Is it a passed-down sport because your Grandpa did it, did you take it on because your friends do it, or do you just hunt to provide meat for your family? Whatever it is, it’s something you love. It’s your downtime, your getaway where you can focus on one thing only, your other thoughts shut down and you’re able to finally come down off the corporate whirlwind – it’s open season.
Gun safety is a given and everyone who owns a gun needs to learn how to handle it safely, even so, through human error or mechanical malfunction, accidents happen.
Statistically, there are approximately 120 000 reported hunting accidents a year. All were men, between the ages of 25 – 45 years of age. You would think all hunting accidents involve gunshot wounds – but this is not always the case. Around half are gunshot wounds and most of these injuries occur during the deer hunting months from October to December.
Other accidents reported during hunting season include:
Car accidents on the way
Not only are there many vehicle-deer collisions reported during hunting season but rain and slippery roads in the backcountry can lead to some serious accidents.
Too often, people only seem to “hike” when they’re hunting which leads to serious exhaustion as you become unaware of how many miles you’ve actually walked when you’re not used to those distances. Your physical condition as a hunter is imperative because not only do you need the stamina to go the distance, you’re open to the elements too.
Tree stand injuries
Rain-slicked, slippery, muddy boots on a tree stand have led to many hunting injuries, especially where a safety harness has not been used.
Your concentration is on a target and not where you’re walking which means many injuries occur through falling, tripping, or slipping in the woods.
This can happen when a hunter tries to move the animal they’ve just shot thinking it’s dead or another animal arrives on the scene because it can smell the wounded animal.
When a hunting accident does involve a gunshot wound, it is often because of a misfire, a weapon malfunction, or an inexperienced hunter seeing movement and pulling the trigger without truly knowing what they’re shooting at.
Whatever the injury, you need a first aid kit at the ready. This question remains:
Which first aid kit is the best kit for hunters?
If you’re wondering why it’s the best, let’s look at what hunters need:
Gunshot wounds and lacerations from debris, animal attacks, or knives cause heavy bleeding – to help in this area you would need: A tourniquet, shears, pressure dressing, and compressed gauze.
At least an 18-inch splint but an extra 36-inch splint would help too. The Surviveware Splint is made with a thin core of aluminum and padded outer foam shell; it is light, flexible, and strong. The splint has clear instructions of how to use it printed on the foam which is great when you’re under stress and struggling to think clearly. It can be molded, bent, and cut to the desired shape and size you need and it rolls up into a compact space saver.
For those just in case moments! Like the splint, the CPR kit comes with instructions on what to do. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to pop some extra aspirin in the kit for a suspected heart attack.
You need extra space to add your own personal medicines and extra items. All kits should be customized since we all have individual preferences. No one bag can satisfy every person – that’s why the essential supplies are there and the extra space accommodates individuals. As hunters, your guns and devices are to your own taste; your medical kit should be the same.
Whichever way you choose to enjoy your downtime, do it safely and have the peace of mind a handy first aid kit can bring on your next hunting stint.