Posted Wednesday, 30 July 2014 12:30
Archers can stay safe during this year's archery hunts by following a few, simple rules.
Hunters are excited about the start of Utah’s general buck deer and bull elk hunts. The general hunts start Aug. 16.
Photo by Scott Root
Utah's general archery buck deer and elk hunts kick off Aug. 16.
Kirk Smith, Hunter Education coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says every year, he receives reports of archery hunters injuring themselves. He says most of the accidents are caused by archers doing one of two things: not being safe in tree stands or having arrows out of their quiver, before they're ready to shoot.
To help you avoid these accidents, Smith provides the following advice:
To lessen the chance that you'll fall while climbing the tree, leave your bow, arrows and other equipment on the ground, and attach a haul line to them. Also, be sure to use an approved safety harness (also called a fall arrest system). Make sure to secure yourself to the tree as soon as you leave the ground.
"Once you reach your stand," Smith says, "attach your safety harness to your final location. Then, use your haul line to lift your gear to you."
Smith encourages you to not build a "permanent" tree stand. Instead, use a portable tree stand. "Overtime," he says, "permanent tree stands can deteriorate and become unsafe. And they clutter up the landscape. Also, you can damage or kill trees by hammering nails into them."
If you're hunting on a national forest or on land managed by the Bureau of Land Management in Utah, you'll have to use a portable tree stand — permanent tree stands are illegal.
State law requires that arrows be kept in a case while the arrows are in or on a vehicle.
In addition to the safety tips, Smith provides advice on preparing for the season, safety items to remember while you're in the field, and information on how to track animals and care for game meat in the field.
Also, tying paper at the locations of the last three or four blood spots you see, and then standing away from the paper and looking at the paper trail, can help you visualize the direction the animal took.
Smith also provides tips for reducing conflicts with landowners and those who don't hunt:
Smith says most Utahns choose not to hunt. But they support hunting as long as hunters are legal, safe and ethical. "When hunters don't behave that way," he says, "how people feel about hunting can take a turn for the worse."
Extended archery areas
If you want to hunt the Wasatch Front, Ogden, Sanpete Valley or Uintah Basin extended archery areas, please remember the following:
For more information, call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR's Salt Lake City office at 801-538-4700.
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