If you are gearing up to head out with your dog to hunt, you should take safety into consideration. There are other hunters out there who may not be knowledgeable about how to work around dogs.
Read on to learn how to keep your dog a bit safer this hunting season.
Hunting Safety with Your Dog
You can take some pretty simple precautions to keep you and your dog safe if you will be going out to hunt.
Make Sure Your Dog’s Information is Updated
If you are taking your dog out hunting, something you might not think about is making sure their shots and paperwork are up-to-date. This is a simple task and only takes a visit to your vet, but many people likely don’t even consider it. If your dog’s shots have lapsed, it’s very important you take care of that before going out. There is no knowing what animals your dog may come in contact with or what illness those animals might spread.
While you’re making sure their information is up to date, also be sure to check that their tags are up to date as well. Make sure you have their name and your contact information on their collar as well as their vaccination information if they get lost in the field.
Wear Safety Gear
Most hunters know enough to wear safety gear, but make sure your dog’s safety is also taken into account. A breakaway collar is a good idea. These collars are designed to come apart if your dog gets caught on branches or other obstructions. You should also give them a vest to make sure other hunters will be able to clearly see them while you’re out in the field.
You should also make sure you bring a first aid kit with you. Be sure to include simple bandages in case of cuts or scrapes, but also include antibiotics and even a tourniquet in case of a more serious injury.
Gauze and non-stick bandages are a good idea if your dog gets cut. Be sure to include tweezers, syringes, and even a flashlight to make sure you can see what you are doing in the dark.
Your dog’s medical paperwork should also be included in your first aid kit.
Walking Your Dog During Hunting Season
Even if you’re not a hunter, there are some precautions you should take if you’ll be walking your dog during hunting season. Some of these tips might take a little preparation beforehand and some might need equipment, but you’ll be better off heading this advice.
- Get to know the different hunting seasons in your area
- Make sure you and your dog are highly visible
- Go for walks at the right time of day
- Be visible in the dark
- Stay heard
- Keep your dog on leash
- Be familiar with where you are walking
You should certainly know the different hunting seasons in your area and you should know the lay of the land. Each area has different hunting seasons based on temperatures and animal migrations. You might not also realize that while there are certain seasons for animals, there is also hunting with different types of weapons. Most attention is paid to hunting with rifles, but bows can be just as devastating to an unsuspecting animal. Learning about these different seasons will teach you what to expect and knowing the land will help you avoid popular hunting spots.
The best time to walk your pet is midday. Most times, hunters go out just before sunset and sunrise. These are the times that animals are most likely to be out and about. Once the sun comes out, animals will try to hide and hunters won’t want to spend all day waiting for them to come back out. Because hunters will be out during twilight hours, you should be certain that you can be seen and heard. Wear bright clothing and get your dog a bright, reflective vest as well. Consider wearing some carabiners on a backpack or belt as well. The sound of them striking each other while you walk can be a great way to make your presence known.
Lastly, leash your dog if you’re walking in the woods during hunting season. You might be tempted to let them run free because they seem to be having so much fun. You never know when you might cross a hunter’s path or even an animal’s path. It’s better to keep your dog near you just in case.