The Louisiana hunting season is upon us, and many hunters and trappers are looking forward to collecting birds, rabbits, deer, and other game. Before you go out, however, you must have a valid hunting license and be aware of seasonal limits and regulations.
Hunting can be a dangerous pastime if you behave carelessly, so you should always keep safety in mind, as well. Remember “The Ten Commandments of Firearm Safety,” wear hunter orange and blaze pink, and enjoy some of the wonderful safety tips we have compiled from around the web.
What Are ‘The Ten Commandments of Firearm Safety?’
According to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), The Ten Commandments of Firearm Safety include:
- Keeping the muzzle of your gun pointed in a safe direction at all times
- Treating every firearm as a loaded gun
- Identifying your target and what is in front of and behind it (know your game, make sure you have an adequate backstop, and never shoot at a flat, hard surface or water)
- Keeping your finger outside the trigger guard until you are ready to shoot
- Checking your barrel and ammunition (make sure they are clear of obstructions) and carrying only the proper ammunition for your firearm
- Unloading firearms when not in use and carrying them in cases to and from the shooting area
- Pointing a firearm only at your target – avoiding all horseplay with a gun
- Refraining from running, jumping, or climbing with a loaded firearm (unload a firearm before you climb a fence or tree or jump a ditch and handle your firearm by the butt)
- Storing firearms and ammunition separately and safely (and beyond the reach of children)
- Avoiding alcoholic beverages and mind- or behavior-altering drugs or medicines before and during your hunting trip
Louisiana also requires hunters to wear hunter orange or blaze pink when using any type of firearm to hunt white-tailed deer. If you’re bringing a dog along, you should have the dog wear a hunter orange or blaze pink vest or bandana, too. The LDWF reminds hunters to watch for people who may be hunting other game, engaging in other recreational activities, or simply not wearing hunter orange or blaze pink – always be sure of your target and what’s beyond it!
Additional Hunting Safety Tips
Firearms can be deadly when they are not used correctly, but weather conditions, tree stands, and even wild animals can be hazardous, as well.
Here are some extra tips to help ensure a safe hunting trip:
- Check weather reports before entering National Forests or other hunting locations
- Dress accordingly and prepare for the worst possible conditions
- Wear layers, bring rain gear, and carry a spare set of dry clothing
- Don’t forget to wear your hunter orange (and never wear white or tan during deer season)
- Wear hearing and eye protection
- Be familiar with the hunting area and your equipment (and check equipment before heading out)
- Carry a first aid kit
- Avoid hunting alone if possible
- Tell someone where you will be hunting and when you will return
- Put hunting plans in writing and keep one copy at home and another in your vehicle (include dates, time, location, and your expected time of return)
- Use a flashlight after dark or before daylight to alert other hunters to your presence
- Always wear a harness when hunting from a tree stand (while climbing up, hunting, and climbing down – no exceptions)
- Never climb into a tree with a loaded weapon
- Use a haul line to raise or lower your gear, including unloaded firearms
- Practice with your stand at ground level first and gradually raise its height
- Only use stands that meet TMA (Treestand Manufacturers Association) standards
- Be cautious around wild animals
- Control your emotions and prioritize safety over frustration or excitement
The best way to learn how to hunt safely is to take a free LDWF-approved hunter education course and go hunting regularly with an experienced hunter or trapper.
Of course, keeping our safety tips in mind can’t hurt, either!
If you are injured by a careless hunter, a defective tree stand, or in another hunting accident involving negligence, discuss your case with our attorneys at Anderson Traylor Edwards. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, missed wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
Call us at (985) 244-3070 24/7 or contact us online today to learn more about your rights and legal options – and don’t forget to schedule a free consultation.