The perks of public land hunting are many such as they tend to hold an abundance of game and upland game birds plus the cost is minimal when compared to hunting with outfitters or leasing private land. Following are seven simple rules and using commonsense when you share ground with others will help make your hunting excursion more enjoyable.
Seven important tips to help keep you safe while hunting public lands:
- Public lands often have additional regulations. It is your responsibility to know the law. Understand all hunting regulations that pertain to that area.
- Always observe and obey safety zones.
- Always IDENTIFY your target before shooting. Remember hunting on public land often means other hunters may share the same area. Do not shoot over the horizon or into thick cover.
- If hunter’s orange is required, keep it on at all times. If it is optional, wear it while entering and exiting the area.
- A majority of public lands have a mandatory check-in/check-out policy, be sure to do both.
- Keep firearms unloaded until you have settled into your hunting location.
- If you come across a hunter who is not following the regulations, quietly leave the area and report them. Do not take the law into your own hands.
Thanks to thousands of public access sites around the country more and more people are discovering public land hunting for the first time. Whether the reasons are due to the economy or they struggle to find and afford private land to hunt on, many are venturing out to public places. Regardless of where you hunt, keeping safe should always be your number one goal.
Share your safety tip for sharing hunting grounds in the comment section.
Lisa Metheny is a published award-winning outdoor writer, photographer, speaker and outdoor skills instructor. Lisa holds several instructor certifications and conducts a number of women-focused outdoor seminars on topics such as archery and hunting throughout the year. She regularly teaches hunters education and archery classes and has become an advocate for promoting traditional outdoor recreation to families across the United States. Lisa is also an avid and accomplished hunter with many big game species to her credit. She is a member of POMA and former Board of Directors member as well as a member of the NRA, RMEF, MDF and DU.
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