Hunting in Alabama is a popular activity that provides an estimated 5.8 million man-days of recreation per year for approximately 360,000 hunters. Hunting is one of the safest outdoor-related activities. According to the National Safety Council's 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. While this is an exceptional safety record, we should strive to eliminate or reduce this 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 dim light 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.
Every hunter has an obligation to fulfill when they enter wildlife habitat to participate in our hunting heritage. The ethical code for hunters has been developed by America's hunters during the past century since the inception of modern wildlife management. Most sportsmen agree that every responsible hunter should do the following:
- Respect the landowner and his/her 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 Sportsman's Pledge
I pledge to conduct myself as a true sportsman and will always:
- Treat every gun with the respect due a loaded gun
- Always point my gun in a safe direction
- Be sure of my target before I shoot
- Never put a loaded gun in or on an automobile
- Always respect the landowner and his/her property and be considerate of other hunters.