Hunting in Alabama is a very popular activity that provides an estimated 5.8 million man-days of recreation per year for approximately 360,000hunters. Hunting is one of the safest outdoor-related activities that an individual can participate in. According to the National Safety Council? study of outdoor recreation-related injuries,sports such as football, baseball, soccer, and even billiards have a much higher incident rate than hunting.
During a recent Alabama hunting season, there were five firearms related hunting incidents per 100,000 licensed hunters. This is an exceptional safety record that all Alabama hunters should be proud of. However, we should strive to eliminate, or reduce this already impressive safety record. The Alabama hunting incident rate is very similar to the rate of other southeastern states with similar hunting seasons and bag limits.
Common Causes of Alabama Hunting Incidents
- Falling from Treestands
- Failure to identify your target
- Self-inflicted incidents
The Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries recommends all hunters abide by the following basic hunter safety rules:
- Keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction at all times.
- Treat every firearm with the respect due a loaded gun.
- Be sure of your target and what is in front of it and beyond it.
- Keep your finger outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot.
- Wear a blaze orange cap or vest
- Use a small flashlight during dimlight conditions to identify yourself as a human being
Falls from treestands are a leading cause of injuries for Alabama hunters. Please abide by the following treestand safety tips when using an elevated platform.
- Read and follow the manufacturer"s instructions prior to using an elevated platform.
- Inspect your stand and tree prior to each use.
- Always wear a fall restraint device anytime you are climbing, sitting, or descending from an elevated position.
- Always pull your gun or bow up with a pull up rope. Firearms should be unloaded, action open, and safety on.
Everyhunter hasan obligation to fulfill when they enter wildlife habitat to participate in our hunting heritage. The ethical code huntersabide by has been developed byAmerica's hunters during the past centurysince the inception of modern wildlife management. Most sportsmen agree that every responsible hunter should do the following:
- Respect the landowner and his property
- Show respect to other hunters and non-hunters
- Give respect to the wildlife and its habitat
- Follow all state laws and regulations
- Use equipment adequate for the game being hunted and be proficient with that equipment.
Alabama Sportsmans Pledge
I pledge to conduct myself as a true sportsman and will always (1) treat every gun with the respect due a loaded gun; (2) always point my gun in a safe direction; (3) be sure of my target before I sho
ot; (4) never put a loaded gun in or on an automobile; (5) always respect the landowner and his property and be considerate of other hunters.