Hunting Safety Protocol
Hunting seasons, designated dates where it is legal to hunt a particular kind of animal, are now in full swing. In Illinois, there are opportunities to hunt a variety of standard game animals, including deer, turkey, coyote, and rabbit. To hunt, you must retrieve a hunting permit registration that can be found online. Permits to hunt are available for both state residents and non-residents. For deer hunting in Illinois, the archery season is October 1st through January 19th, muzzleloader season is December 5th through 8th and then again from December 13th through 15th, firearm season is November 22nd through 24th as well as December 5th through 8th, and the youth firearms hunt takes place from October 12th through 14th. For wild turkey season in Illinois, the fall firearms season is October 19th through 27th and the fall archery season is from October 1st through January 19th. While hunting season brings about much excitement for avid hunters, it also presents potential dangers.
Most of the reported hunting accidents involve tree stands, field dressing, and misfire or accidental shootings. A recent study found that most hunting-related injuries occur because of overexcitement, unfamiliarity with equipment, or carelessness. This overly-eager nature of hunters results in them failing to adhere to basic safety protocol. Injuries can also occur due to drowsy hunters that fall from their tree stand with their weapon in hand, which can often result in self-inflicted injuries or injury to nearby hunters. The International Hunter Education Association (IHEA) found that approximately 1,000 people in the United States and Canada are accidentally shot by hunters each year; under a hundred of those accidents result in fatalities. To reduce the amount of injuries or deaths related to an accidental shooting or misfire while hunting, it is strongly encouraged that people take hunter safety courses before hunt participation. Additionally, some helpful hunter safety tips related to firearms include:
- Keep the barrel of your firearm pointed in a safe direction and away from other people.
- Firearms should always be unloaded when not in use.
- Treat all firearms as if they are loaded and ready to fire.
- Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
- Always use the proper ammunition for your firearm.
- Wear eye and ear protection.
- Do not alter or modify your gun.
- Do not use alcohol or drugs while handling your firearm.
- Never hoist a loaded firearm into a tree stand.
- Unload firearms before riding in a vehicle or riding an ATV.
It is important to remember these hunting safety tips before participating in any hunting activity to prevent injury from occurring. In Illinois, hunting is a popular activity during the fall and winter months, and it is essential for hunters to be properly educated on safe hunting measures. However, it is still possible to suffer from a hunting-related injury even when exercising safe hunting practices. If you or a loved one were injured while hunting due to the negligence of another party, you may be entitled to compensation. Our attorneys at Spiros Law, P.C. understand the trauma and pain one suffers from an injury related to hunting. Contact one of our attorneys today to figure out your next step of action and receive a free consultation.