Going hunting alone isn’t something that should be taken lightly, and for many reasons. When you hunt by yourself, you run the very possible risk of something bad happening to you, and this is something that all hunters face no matter if you’re a newbie (especially) or if you’re experienced.
Having two brains is better than one, so having that extra person for assistance just in case you’re stuck in a sticky situation is always very important. I am aware that sometimes it can be hard to get a buddy or a family member to come along with you every single time, but the risks that you take when you go alone are simply not worth it, and here’s why…
Should you go hunting alone?
Absolutely not. When hunting alone, the risks that you faced when you weren’t alone are 10 times worse, and this is because you don’t have anyone there to help you in the unfortunate case of an emergency.
There are many safety risks we as hunters face when entering the field, so making sure you are prepared is extremely critical before each and every hunt. I know that sometimes we think that we have every situation under control, but the truth is that there are just some things that we can’t.
Please read ahead and take note of all of the things that you could possibly be faced with if you decide to take that chance.
LOSING TRACK OF WHERE YOU ARE
I think that getting lost is not something that many people worry about too much these days with expanded road networks and better human development, but not all hunting grounds in the world are equally safe. There are some areas I’ve explored that were really great at helping with navigation, but others, not so much.
Getting lost while hunting is not something that is uncommon, so having an extra set of eyes with you is always very important when hunting in areas that are unfamiliar. As I’m getting older, my memory is getting worse, so having someone along with me is a must when I go on my trips.
Not only do they help me remember routes that I have taken, but also help double-check or remind me of supplies that I may have forgotten.
AGGRESSIVE GAME, HUNTERS, AND NON-HUNTERS
As if worrying about getting attacked by a wild animal wasn’t enough. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve run into other hunters who were just simply having a bad day. Did I ever think that they would bring physical harm to me? No, but this doesn’t mean you are safe every time. There are some dangerous people in the real world, so it is always better to be safe than sorry.
If you run into trouble with another person for whatever reason and you feel like there may be an issue, stand down. Make sure your weapon is pointed away from them and calmly talk the situation out so that nothing escalates past words being exchanged.
Having a friend or family member as a witness is important on the rare occasion that anything ever did happen.
Hunting doesn’t always go the way you want it to, and this can sometimes be because of the aggressive animals you see on the way. Raccoons, for example, are very small but they do pack a punch for their size. Encountering one of these little creatures can sometimes be scary if they are in an agitated state of mind, but the chances of one actually attacking you are pretty low. They may make noises to scare you away, but that’s about as far as it goes
Wolves and bears are other potential threats depending on where you live, but there are usually warning signs to let you know that they are in the area before you start your hunt, so it is very important that you keep your eyes open for that.
Again, bringing someone along can help with the second set of eyes to help catch signs or rules that you may have missed. Completely missing signs are not uncommon, especially when it comes to new hunters.
Also, having that extra person will give you twice the manpower if you’re ever in a position where you have to defend yourself physically from an aggressive game. Just remember to let the animal know that you are there and without threatening it in any way, walk away until you can get to a safer area.
This one is probably the most “touchy” threat on the list because running into someone who doesn’t hunt can be risky for a couple of reasons. This is because people who don’t hunt are sometimes against it and can be verbally or even physically aggressive.
So, the first thing you want to do when encountering an angry person is to make sure all weapons are down. This will show respect and let that person know that you are in no way looking for any trouble.
Apologize to the person, even if you are in the wrong, and keep on with your hunt. There are no laws or rules stating that you have to stand there and explain yourself to someone who doesn’t necessarily have the same views as you.
This has never happened to me, by the way, but I do have a friend that it has happened to so always keep this advice in mind just in case you do run into a situation like this.
Your friend or family member can be good for providing the police with any information just in case cops are called or if legal actions are taken.
Between aggressive animals and aggressive people, there are definitely risks that come with hunting, but they are not only limited to those two things, so here are some more potential risks to keep in mind before your hunt…
If you have been hunting for a while or are completely new to it and your field dresses your own game then you may find that you are either careless due to inexperience or have been doing it so long that you don’t even think about safety anymore.
Yes, the more you dress the faster you will more likely become, but this doesn’t mean that you should get too confident or carried away when doing so. I have been hunting for many years and I still to this day take the time needed to safely field dress my game.
You are handling sharp tools and instruments such as hunting knives and bone fragments, so making sure that you are wearing the proper hand gear and taking as much time as needed should always be your number one priority.
Cutting yourself could not only lead to a serious and painful injury but will also open you up to being exposed to potential bacteria or diseases that the animal you dressed is carrying, so be very careful during this part of your hunt and have your buddy assist you in any way they can so that things don’t get any worse.
FRACTURES AND CUTS
In addition to cuts from sharp hunting knives and bone fragments from animals, you also have to worry about injuries you may inflict on yourself from actions that simply involve getting in and out of your tree stand, stumbling over large sticks and branches, or even slipping on icy areas in the winter.
The worst thing you could possibly do while hunting is hurt yourself and not have anybody with you, so having another person come along is always good in the case that you may need help with walking after spraining an ankle or even with contacting emergency responders in the situation that things are even worse than that.
Time and safety are of the essence when injuries happen, and sometimes we are unable to do everything on our own, so this is again yet another reason why having someone with you is always the better idea.
As you can see, hunting alone can bring a whole slew of new problems that you normally wouldn’t even think of. Sustaining an injury is definitely not something that anyone wants to deal with when they’re out on their hunt, so having a partner to bring along can not only make your hunting experience more fun but can also be life-saving in some situations.
I am a big advocate for safety, so being extra careful and making sure you’re doing whatever you can to make your trip a good one is vital to all your hunting ventures. Hunting newcomers and senior citizen hunters are at the most risk of something dangerous or fatal happening, so if you happen to fall under one of these categories, please take the proper precautions needed before even leaving the house.
Hunting accidents are not an unheard occurrence, so having the right protective gear, knowledge, and experience beforehand can be a complete game-changer when it comes down to how your trip turns out.