Yes, before the game we hunt, before the good times with friends over the camp fire, as hunters our number one concern should always be safety.
Most States require hunters to take a Hunter Education course, (previously just called hunter safety, but now includes much more than just safety). Safety when handling a firearm is just part of the safety taught in Hunter Education classes. The obvious topics of crossing obstacles, transportation, handling when hunting, of firearms and archery equipment, effective ranges, attention to one’s target and what is beyond, are all well covered during these courses. One of the key topics is the use of the different modes of carrying a rifle or shotgun, and when it is appropriate to be using each of them, and when it is not. Zones of fire, and maximum distance each type of firearm can achieve and ballistics of each cartridge.
What is less obvious safety training is the instruction given that covers use of maps (topographical, National Forest Service, county, aviation charts, all that have information that is not on the others, GPS’s, the importance of physical fitness when in altitude and the need for acclimatization to altitude to avoid mountain sickness, the need for for layering in clothing to allow for perspiration to wick off (polypropylene) and to trap heat in with wool outer garments, what to do to avoid frostbite, sunstroke and other hazards. Other physical conditioning and the effects of obesity, cigarette smoking, etc., on physical capabilities.
One of the key elements is pointing out the need for all hunters to take a CPR and first aid class from a recognized authority, as it may be your life that someone else saves. There is no point in being the only one in a group who knows how to perform CPR correctly if you are the one in need of it, as you will not be able to tell anyone what to do.
This also brings us to the need of everyone in your hunting group to know if anyone has any allergies, is diabetic, etc., and what to do if someone needs epinephrine or a insulin injection.
Here is a source to learn CPR
This is a video on CPR which suggests 30 compressions a minute and 2 breaths, although some authorities (in particular the American Heart Association) are now suggesting a faster compression rate (around 100) here on here
Here is a link to the American Red Cross with links to local chapters so you can find the closest one to you.
Here are a couple of on-line courses one can take
I should remind you of the following: A good samaritan in legal terms refers to someone who renders aid in an emergency to an injured person on a voluntary basis. Usually, if a volunteer comes to the aid of an injured or ill person who is a stranger, the person giving the aid owes the stranger a duty of being reasonably careful. A person is not obligated by law to do first aid in most states, not unless it’s part of a job description. However, some states will consider it an act of negligence though, if a person doesn’t at least call for help. Generally, where an unconscious victim cannot respond, a good samaritan can help them on the grounds of implied consent. However, if the victim is conscious and can respond, a person should ask their permission to help them first.
Other hunter safety issues that are of concern are things like Brown recluse and Black Widow spider bites, rattlesnake bites, carbon mono-oxide poisoning from using a propane light or stove in a poorly ventilated tent, Hanta virus from rodents excrement, Lyme disease from tick bites, etc. In the case of all the above, best practice will suggest that one gets to the doctor asap.
Other safety concerns include making sure all of the body is covered when inducing wind chill factor while riding on dirt bikes or ATV’s in cold weather. 30 miles and hour at the crack of dawn in Colorado or elsewhere at an air temperature of minus 30 will lead to a wind chill factor of -67 degrees, human flesh will freeze irrevocably around -54, which means that any part of the body exposed will suffer from frostbite.
So keep it safe, be smart, take precaution’s, prepare for the worst, always carry your survival gear including food and water with you no matter how short a walk you think you are about to take.