ROBERTSDALE, Ala. (WKRG) — The busiest part of the hunting season is underway, but I have little hunting experience.
So I went out to Campbell Hardware & Sporting Goods in Robertsdale to learn all there is to know about hunting safety. Longtime hunter Nelson Wingo was able to help me with the basics.
“You need to be totally prepared and have all your safety gear and all your licenses when you go to the woods,” Wingo said.
It starts with what you wear.
“The state requires 144 square inches of Hunter Orange visible either in a cam or in a vest,” Wingo said.
Also, it is important to watch for the purple paint marking property lines.
“If you get to that color, and you do not have a written permit on your person to cross it, you need to stay off of it,” he said.
Hunters commonly use tree stands, which can be dangerous. “There are more accidents out of tree stands (than there are of) shooting,” Wingo said. So, you want to make sure you have a safety harness.
“This is on your upper body,” he said. “It’s attached to the tree. And God forbid that you fall out of a tree, you will not hit the ground.”
Bow hunting has become very popular, but the number one priority with any kind of hunting is safety. Wingo gave me tips on both crossbows and compound bows as well as guns.
“On these [compound] bows, kind of like a crossbow, you need to have a service check yearly just to make sure that everything’s working,” he stated.
And with bows and guns, you do not want to load the weapon until you are in place.
“It’s just not a good idea to load your bow until you get in a tree and get in a safe position,” Wingo said.
It is very important to stay up-to-date on all current laws and requirements with each type of hunting.
“Nothing can ruin a good hunt more than getting a ticket for doing something illegal,” Wingo emphasized.
But most importantly, you need to have a good time.
“We want you to enjoy the hunt and have a safe hunt,” Wingo said.
With careful preparation ahead of time, you can make your hunting experience both successful and safe.
To learn more about the hunting season in the state of Alabama, head to the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Outdoor Alabama website.