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(courtesy /

The National Shootings Sports Foundation’s Project ChildSafe knocked-up a ten question quiz on hunting safety for young ‘uns looking to murder Bambi’s mother. Safely. Q5 is about as surprising as Audi’s Q5, although answer b) has a certain Germanic quality to it. And I’m thinking d) and e) are roughly the same, excepting the possibility of a big ass bear disemboweling a hunter causing him or her to drop their firearm. Anyway, have you ever been injured during a hunt? Do tell.

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  1. One of the questions asked what “not” to bring. I got it wrong.

    No nails… Nails bad!

    You can cut trees down, but you can’t nail them!

    • Same here. It’s a stupid question for a quiz since the no-nail rule only applies in select areas. Kind of like a quiz telling you not to pump your own gas since it’s illegal in New Jersey and Oregon.

      • I have two general rules.
        1.) Whatever you’re doing, know how to do it safely, for both yourself and others.
        2.) Know and Follow the law.

        It applies to Firearms quite well. The law might not say that you cannot do “x” whatever that is, but if safe operation dictates that you do not do “x” then you DO NOT DO THAT. If it happens to be a situation while hunting, then it’s better to let the quarry go rather than be digging lead out of you or your best friend. Don’t believe me? Ask Dick Cheney.

        Sometimes the law is a massive pointless bloody stupid inconvenience, you still follow it, but I understand the “No nails” rule. It used to be a tactic of Eco-terrorists and tree huggers to go through the forest hammering great big spikes and large nails into trees, so that the tree would grow around them and make extraction impossible, and cause anyone who tried to cut the tree down or saw it up for lumber to suffer the wonderful shrapnel, bits of flying steel, and grievous injury associated with a shattered sawblade. Go ahead, look it up, some of the pictures are nasty though, so be warned.

        The trouble only really starts when the law starts ordering you to do unsafe things. At that point, it runs afoul of Rule #1, and you have to make the decision on whether you risk your neck or break the law.

        • I wasn’t commenting on the no-nail laws themselves. I was pointing out that it is a poor children’s quiz question since many many people hunt on private land where permanent wooden tree stands are are common and perfectly legal. A child taking the quiz might be come to believe that his father is breaking the law by nailing up tree stands on his own property.

        • Is he breaking the law? Just because it’s on his own property doesn’t necessarily mean he isn’t, the law may not take anything like that into consideration. Unfortunately, there are a LOT of laws like that, usually falling under the aegis of the EPA and various fish and game departments. It still might be a bad thing to do, though, depending on a lot of factors.

        • Tomy:

          No. He is not breaking the law in Illinois anyway. I don’t know about other states but IL rules prohibit using nails and such only in public hunting areas. The rules seem to be about preventing damage to the trees rather than saw blades. They prohibit using any device which cuts of pierces the bark of a tree. Again though, the rules only apply to public hunting areas.

          On private land they’re your trees and you can do what you want with them. (Except when hunting certain furbears.)

    • Large nails left in trees can seriously damage logging equipment and sawmills if the tree is cut down. Hippies would “spike” trees to discourage logging, almost killed a sawmill worker when a blade snapped and flew into him after hitting a nail.

      Leave no trace…

  2. Yes. Got a blister on my toe. Started wearing a thin sock inside my thick sock and it never happened again.

  3. I once gotten shot by a hunters’ child who was randomly shooting things with his .22LR rifle while I was out in the bush hiking and exploring places. It was half my fault for going off the trail (I did locate an awesome little pond though.)

    Thankfully it ended in a couple of stitches and broken flesh, however I was very quick to educate both the father and the child about knowing what, exactly, you are shooting at before you shoot.. and to know exactly where it is legal to shoot, because where they were it was quite improper. I wasn’t too angry though because this, ultimately, was my fault for being the curious creature I am and wandering off the path.

    • I fail to see how an improperly trained child (given relatively free reign with a deadly weapon) shooting you is somehow anyone’s fault but the asshat of a parent. But I’m glad you injury was relatively minor. And you seem to take it in much better stride than I would. I would have pressed charges or at least sued. People get killed from such carelessness.

    • It is your fault because you were walking in the woods and someone shot you accidently?

      You are too kind!

  4. Sure. Several times.

    Seriously sprained an ankle whilst packing a mountain goat down the side of a mountain. That was a whole lot of “not fun.”

    Got cut up and bruised while falling down the sides of mountains into rockpiles while chukar hunting.

    Hypothermia from getting soaked in blizzards.

  5. Actually i’d say none of the above. Nationally, hypothermia is usually cited as the #1 cause of hunting injuries, but this is heavily climate dependent. Falls (tree stand accidents) I would say are second (nationally). In Maryland the #1 is falls. Please use a safety harness! Don’t climb an iced over or dead tree! A lot of stuff, like self inflicted gunshot wounds from cleaning your gun might fall under “carelessness.” As far as injuries, does pulling a muscle dragging a large deer up a hill count?

  6. I have not been injured, but one of our hunting partners has nearly died several times.

    My uncle brought my dad our partner on a late summer elk hunt. My uncle had been to this same location many times, and “knew” that there was running water at the top of the mountains they were hiking up into, so he told them to pack light on water. They got to the top, and the water was gone. My dad’s friend, who drinks a lot of water, had already run dry, and was getting dehydrated fast. They decided to bail and head back down, and he almost didn’t make it, as they all eventually ran out of water by giving theirs to him. Before they reached bottom, he slumped over onto the ground and stated that he just wanted to sleep, and they could come back and get him later. They ended up dragging him down the trail back to their vehicles, where they promptly gave him a huge jug of water with concentrated electrolyte.

    My uncle also put a machete into his shin while trying to get them down through thicker undergrowth. He stitched himself up at the vehicle and later had it re-done at the hospital.

    My dad was on a hunt with a college friend of his, who successfully downed a buck. When they went to field dress it, his friend brushed up on something painful, and his leg immediately started gushing blood. He had sliced himself on an exposed bow hunter’s broadhead that was embedded in the buck’s neck. This too required stitches.

    Our partner climbed over a fallen tree and ended up between a black bear and her cubs. I was about 75 yards behind him when I heard a lot of crashing and saw him come running back at me full-speed, and I saw he had no interest in stopping.

    When WA state relaxed rules on young hunters several years back, our partner was watching a father and several young hunters on a nearby hillside with his binoculars. Shortly afterwards, he was shot at twice from across that valley.

    Young hunters can be a bad formula.. They see something moving through their glass and sometimes don’t even bother looking for the blaze orange – you might have heard this called “buck fever”. Many young hunters just see “something” and start shooting.

    We had an immigrant brush picker shot around my house several years back during bear season. He was out in public property during bear season, messing around by himself in the brush, probably wearing dark clothing. Of course the onus is on the hunter to verify their target, but you’d be surprised how easily a human can look like a foraging black bear under the right circumstances.

    • No offense but from personal experience; never go light on water. I was staying for one night in the forest (school camping trip once) and while everybody brought small quantities of soda and water I brought 5 litres of water and 2.5 litres of soda (ironically I gave most of it away).

      But regarding bad luck with stuff like that I know how it is. I have almost died several times, I still cant understand why I have survived so far.

      And did the guy in the last story survive?

      • Personally I never go light on water – usually carry a gal Camelbak plus a liter Nalgene.

        That was the only time my dad and our partner ever skimped, at the instruction of my uncle, who is a master hunter and has the water retention of a camel. Never since has he suggested that they dump water to shed weight. He thought he knew the land better than he did, and THAT is a huge mistakd many hunters make.

        The guy in the last story died. The hunter was charged with manslaughter but was found acquitted based on lack of evidence to convict on that charge. Prosecutor probably could have succeeded on criminal negligence, do not know why he chose to upgrade the charges.

  7. Ive still got a little piece of birdshot lodged under my scalp from this years opening day of Dove season, dont hunt with dumbasses.

    Fallen off a ladder one time climbing out of a stand on a day windy enough to make the stand sway very abruptly.

  8. Based on all available statistics, the most dangerous part of hunting is the drive from home to the parking area in the woods.

  9. Hunter’s safety system, check. 3 bottled waters, check. Granola and jerky, check. Mylar tent and fire making materials, check. First aid kit, check. Snakeproof boots, check. Truck, never more than a mile away. I have literally fallen asleep on many occasions in my stand. The way it fits me, I would have to climb out of it (not easy to do) in order to fall. The only problem I have is my d!ck falling asleep while cramped in my climber stand.


  10. Many times. Most severe: Walking an overgrown “property line” for pheasants. Turns out it was a really old “fence line.” I learned that when my shin came in contact with the sharp corner of a metal fence post pointed at a 45 degree angle toward me. Very deep, very jagged, very dirty cut.

    Didn’t get no damn pheasants neither.

  11. Flipped an ATV this summer at my buddy’s ranch within the first hour of arriving…thought I broke my arm, went to the ER and got X-Rays, no break, just a crushed arm with lots of swelling and bruising. They doped me up with pain killers and put me in a sling, went back to the ranch, sighted in our rifles, shot some skeet, and then at sunset went out to a clearing where we saw pig sign earlier in the day and snuck up on 30 hogs and took down a decent 100 lb hog. Field dressed the hog in the dark and drove home. On Sunday we had some nice pork loin and ribs!

    This dog hunts in Texas 🙂

  12. All of my hunting related injuries have been due, in one way or another, to loss of footing. I’d be willing to guess that for every single firearm related injury in the field every year, there are many times more injuries caused by falls off of pack horses. Those probably just get reported less because hunters are strong self-reliant types who tend to treat their wounds by themselves without having to go to the hospital to claim victim status.

    • Hunting with my dad in Montana a couple years back, he sat on a patch of that nasty ground-cover cactus out in the sage. I don’t think he had showered in about a week, and he had to drop trow and have me pull out all of those tiny transparent cactus spines out of his ass with a pair of needle nose pliers.

      • You mean those ones that are like damn fiberglass? Hell with that noise. I can’t see them when they AREN’T on a funk-covered ass.

        Worst I can claim is a severe case of “bit to hell and back twice by fire ants” that happened at Parris Island when I made the mistake of coming to attention while standing with both feet in a very angry fire ant pile. My legs looked like pizza clear from my ankles to my knees because at first I thought the biting sensation was sand fleas, which you are not allowed to move for, and it took me a while to realize that the crawling biting sensation was subtly different.

        Just goes to show, keep a good situational awareness at all times…..

  13. I got stung by about 100 Yellow Jackets a couple years ago while hog hunting with my dad and some of his friends. I had inadvertently disturbed their nest…It felt like my entire torso had been splashed with lava. No bacon was taken that day.

  14. The only casualty of my own (infrequent) hunting escapades occurred a duck hunt, where I was carrying my 20 gauge over/under and my friend’s polymer Benelli auto-loader, and my friend was carrying the bag of decoys. I tripped over something in the brush and went down, and as an act of sacrifice (both hands were full, one gun in each) I used my own weapon to break my fall. Several nice gouges were taken from the wooden fore end. I should have fallen on my friend’s gun, because it was polymer and would have been fine.

    Oh well, live and learn.

  15. I am surprised that you guys did not do an article on the hunter who feel out of a tree (without a harness) and eventually he made the decision to have the plug pulled.

  16. Twisted my knee fishing. Dislocated and broke my kneecap, compression fracture of my left lateral femoral condyle, grade 2 medial retinaculum sprin, grade 2 mcl (or acl) sprain. Then I drove a stick home.

  17. Not exactly an injury but I made my brother puke once… We found a dead bloated whitetail with an arrow sticking out of it’s bung (I $hit you not – pun intended). As he was bent over inspecting the entry wound I stomped the deer’s bloated belly and rewarded him with a nice smelly decomp fart.

  18. My dad slipped on a rock covered in a foot of snow and broke his leg.
    My buddy fell out of his stand and broke his back.

  19. Opening day of deer season 2005 and while gutting and trying to use my knife to split the pelvic bone , I cut my hand pretty bad. While sitting in the emergancy room waiting to be seen the other people sitting in there must have thought I cut my hand nearly off because there was blood all over my hands but it was the deer’s blood not mine.
    While I was their first hunter during gun season, they already had hunters from falling out of tree stands and the nurse told me they just had one that “didn’t go home”.

  20. Four years ago I was riding an acquaintance’s less than well trained and ill-tempered mare back down from a spike camp when she caught a whiff of eau du mountain lion and went all rodeo on me. Lost the reins and then the stirrups in short order and was trying to come up with an exit strategy when she tossed me over her right shoulder.

    Landed on my back and smacked my right elbow on a rock, and rolled left to locate the hell bitch and get out of her way. Looked up just in time to see her jump over me, kicking me in the head as she took off downwind with my rifle and sleeping bag.

    Elbow and rifle stock were cracked, a bump on my hard head, and my pride bruised pretty badly. I found her about 30 minutes later. Almost had grilled horse steaks for dinner. I’m not certain I made it 8 seconds, but….I AM A COWBOY! (Bill Engvall reference)

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