Hunting season is upon us and hunters are gearing up to head out into the woods and fields. However, even those who don’t hunt should be thinking about how hunting season impacts us and our pets. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the safety precautions you should take during hunting season, especially if you live near an active hunting ground.
Be Aware of Pet Safety During Hunting Season
When it comes to hunting safety, the best defense is a good offense. Making yourself aware of basic hunting safety is a valuable task, even if you are not a hunter.
Know where you are taking your pets – Determine what areas are considered hunting grounds and avoid them during hunting season. It is important to remember, however, that even off-limits areas may have illegal hunters so use caution in all wooded-type areas.
Learn the seasons – Know hunting seasons so that you know when to be the most cautious. It is best to always have a heightened sense of awareness when outdoors no matter the season.
Keep your pets close – When you are in an area that could potentially have hunters, be sure to keep your dog on a leash. This helps to prevent accidents. Don’t let your pet chase deer or other game. You may want to consider not allowing your pet to roam freely even on your own property during hunting season, especially at dusk.
Be Proactive About Pet Safety During Hunting Season
Just because it is hunting season doesn’t mean that you and your pets shouldn’t be able to enjoy the autumn weather. If you do choose to wander into the great outdoors, take extra precautions to keep you and your pets safer.
Make sure you are seen – Be sure that you are wearing brightly colored clothing. Pets should also be wearing a brightly colored collar, vest, and/or bandana so that they are not mistaken for game.
Make yourself heard – When spending time in areas with potential hunters, be sure to talk, whistle, and move around so that others are aware of your presence. Consider putting a bell on your pet’s collar so that they can also be heard. If you see a hunter before he or she notices you, announce your presence.
Protect Your Hunting Dogs
If you choose to allow your dog to accompany you on a hunting trip, it is even more important to keep their safety a priority. Be sure that your dog is healthy enough to go hunting by being sure to bring him or her in for a wellness exam prior to hunting season.
- Be sure your pet is fully vaccinated and microchipped
- Use good parasite prevention
- Carry a small pet first-aid kit
- Provide bright-colored visibility attire for your pet
- Consider pet protective equipment such as boots or a vest
- Use a break-away type collar in a reflective, bright color
- Be sure to provide clean, fresh water
- Inspect your pet for minor injuries or other problems at the end of your hunting trip
Fall is a wonderful time of year, and with a little forethought you can be sure that both you and your pets are able to enjoy the season to its fullest. Please don’t hesitate to call us if you have any questions or concerns about hunting safety for pets, or if you’d like to schedule a pre-hunting appointment.
Have a very safe and happy hunting season!