The statistics are pretty low on accidentally getting shot while you are out hunting. In fact, according to the International Hunter Education Association, it’s less than 1,000 people in the United States and Canada each year.
That doesn’t mean you or someone else in your group may not sustain another type of injury while hunting. A responsible hunter needs to be prepared by having a proper first aid supplies in your field kit. Here are some tips about what to include in that hunter’s first aid kit, and what kind of injuries could occur while you are out trying to bag that big game.
The Most Common Types of Injuries While Hunting
There are many kinds of injuries that happen while you are hunting out in the woods. One of those is falls from treestands. It makes sense though, you are up in a treestand concentrating on a great shot, you step the wrong way and fall. Wham! This can lead to broken bones, back, or neck injuries. Or some people just fall climbing up the ladder to get to the top during a dark morning before the sun has come up.
Another type of injury that’s common is weapon malfunction. Unclean guns, blocked barrels, or bad ammunition can lead to an injury that needs immediate treatment.
On the less serious end of the injury spectrum, you’ll probably end up with some cuts and scraps just tramping through dense woods that you may need to treat in the field in order to continue with your hunt.
What to Include in Your Hunter’s First Aid Kit
Here are some of the basics to have in your emergency bag. You can usually buy a ready made bag from an outdoor supply store, or put together one of your own if you are particular about each of these items.
- Bandages: Make sure you have several different sizes of bandages for cuts big and small. When you leave a wound exposed out in the wild, it’s more likely to get infected if bacteria gets into it.
- Medications: For headaches, pain, stomach upset, and allergies.
- Tweezers: Have a great set of tweezer to remove ticks or thorns from prickly bushes.
- Tourniquet, Chest Seal, Compression Gauze: These three things are to prevent serious wounds from bleeding excessively. This is an absolute necessity if the worst happens, and someone gets accidentally shot.
- Trauma Sheers: To cut away tight clothing to help treat an injury easier.
- Eyewash: Gun powder or debris can end up in your eyes so rinsing them out with a sterile eyewash is a good idea.
- Emergency Blanket: A mylar emergency blanket is important to keep an injured person warm until the medics arrive. It can also keep you warm in a survival situation if you should get lost.
- A Bag: Keep all of your emergency kit supplies in one durable and secure bag. That way you’ll be able to locate everything you need as fast as possible.
Of course, having a first aid kit available is not a substitute for safe hunting practices. So, take the time to prepare, exercise proper firearm handling, and enjoy your hunt!