Utah Wildlife News
Friday, 02 October 2009 00:00
Utah's most popular hunt—the general rifle buck deer hunt—begins Oct. 17.
— Related story: You might see a few more deer
If you're one of the lucky hunters who obtained a permit for the hunt, getting prepared now—by gathering materials and gaining knowledge—are the key to a safe and successful hunt. And while taking a deer is usually the highlight of any deer hunt, make sure you take advantage of all the experiences deer hunting offers.
Photo by Kirk Gardner
"Don't be so focused on taking a deer that you miss out on everything deer hunting has to offer," says Gary Cook, hunter education coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources. "Camping with your family and friends and enjoying Utah's wildlife and the beautiful state we live in are all things you can enjoy during your time afield."
Cook provides the following tips for an enjoyable and safe hunt:
Preparing your firearm:
Before leaving on your trip:
While in the field:
Field dressing your animal:
Your physical well-being:
If you get lost:
After calming down, try to get your bearings and think your way out of the situation. If you think you know which direction you need to travel, get the pad of paper and pencil out of your survival kit and leave a note at your location. Indicate on the note who you are and the direction you're traveling. If you find other hunters, don't be embarrassed to ask them for directions and help.
If you don't know which direction you should travel, stay at your camp and build a shelter several hours before sundown, if possible. Build a smoky fire (this type of fire can be spotted from the air) or build three fires (a distress signal that can also be spotted from the air).
Remaining at your camp is usually a good option. "If you have to, you can live without food and water for several days," Cook says.
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