Turkey season is upon us, and with that comes excitement, fun, and camaraderie. Add safety, and you're set for success.
It's important to prioritize safety this turkey season. Too many times, hunters assume what they were pointing at with the muzzle of their gun was a turkey. Unfortunately, several have pulled the trigger after it was too late, and realized what they shot wasn't a turkey at all.
I once listened to a turkey hunter who told a story about someone losing their life this way. He stated that the gentlemen went hunting with a party of friends one morning. They split up hunting in two different directions. However, at one point they ended up calling towards each other. One hunter mistakenly shot at the other hunter believing it was a turkey behind a brush pile. Regrettably it was not.
Now, this had happened several decades ago, but it doesn't make it any better.
Safety should always be our top priority. One of the number one rules when you take a hunter's safety course is to always identify your target. A close second is to know exactly what is behind that target.
Turkey hunting gets the adrenaline going, no doubt. However, hunters need to be professional and cautious at all times and place safety as the top priority.
Several hunters will be hunting public land this spring. It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to put safety first on public land.
Since turkey have such great eyesight, camo is paramount, but that introduces an issue on public land. If you're completely concealed and making the noise of a turkey, the risks are obvious.
Another challenge with hunting public land is when a turkey gobbles, every hunter in ear-shot runs after that bird. Hunters need to be careful when placing and hunting over turkey decoys.
When you drive up to another car parked near where you were planning to hunt, it's a safe bet that you should probably hunt somewhere else and give those hunters common courtesy since they were there first. When you do harvest a bird this spring, make sure to drape it (and yourself) in orange as you're walking out of the woods.
Ultimately, you've got to be 100% sure of what you're shooting at, and what's behind it, well before you ever take the safety off and think about pulling the trigger. If you're not 100% sure, don't take the shot. Simple as that.
One last thing worth knowing: There actually is a tangible item that can help you with the safety measures that you're always meant to follow. It's called SafeShoot, and we've covered it before.
To learn more about SafeShoot and how SafeShoot can help you avoid hunting accidents you can visit Safe-Shoot.com.
Like what you see here? Read more awesome hunting articles by Nathan Unger at the Bulldawg Outdoors blog. Follow him on Twitter @Bulldawgoutdoor, Instagram @Bulldawgoutdoors and subscribe on YouTube @Bulldawgoutdoors.