Hunt Camp Safety Rules
Kids Outdoor Outpost November 2011
It’s now mid fall, and the rifle season for whitetails has arrived. Whether your deer camp is a log cabin with hot water and indoor plumbing, a pop-up tent and sleeping bags or just camp chairs around the fire, there are some age-old rules you should follow, especially if it’s your first time in camp. I thought I’d expand on some that I have heard over the years.
Here they are:
• Never, ever bring a loaded firearm into camp. Point the gun in a safe direction, open the bolt, slide or lever and take out all cartridges. It shows your fellow hunters that you follow firearm safety.
• Offer to help with the camp meals or even cook one. If you don’t cook, offer to help the cook or at least collect firewood.
• Always clean up after yourself: trash, clothes, hunting gear and anything else that is yours. Nobody wants to pick up your trash or trip on your gear.
• If someone shoots a deer, offer to help drag it out. Following that, always field-dress your own deer and offer to help others.
• Don’t criticize the size of anyone’s deer harvest. A clean, legal kill of a whitetail should be a trophy in anyone’s book. It’s hard to tell whether it’s a buck or a doe when the bacon-wrapped chunks of venison come off the grill.
• Don’t be late, oversleep or have to be awakened. If you do, you might not be hunting much that day.
• Keep your cell phone off at camp or at least on vibrate. Your fellow hunters are there to get away from home, and I can assure you nobody wants to hear a cell-phone ring in camp. If you need to check in at home, do it away from listening distance of your buddies.
• Make a checklist, and bring what you need. But also bring a few things that others might need. You might save the day for a fellow hunter that forgot something like a flashlight. Bring more than one, and check the batteries first.
• It’s (rarely) too cold, too wet, too hot, too windy or too dry to hunt. Dress appropriately, and get out there. You never know.
• If it’s cooked for you, eat it. Tell the cook how good it is.
• Don’t hunt anyone’s stand or area without prior permission.
• Make yourself available for pre-season work days, and don’t complain about your given responsibility.
• If you use an item at camp (matches, lighter fluid, paper towels, whatever), replace it the next time in camp.
• Make sure you abide by the camp rules on the size of deer that can be harvested. Georgia hunting regulations currently allow hunters to shoot 10 antlerless deer and two antlered bucks (with one of those at least 4 points on a side). However, your camp may have additional trophy rules. If in doubt, let it walk.
This Month’s Quick Quiz:
Quick Quiz of the Month: What things do you think make for a good deer camp?
The winner will be picked at random from all correctly submitted answers, and he or she will win a prize from our sponsor. We’ll print the answer next month. Good luck.
Last month’s Quick Quiz question: What factors affect a deer’s home range? Or in other words, what may make a deer move out of its home range?
The answer: The rut.
This month’s winner is Madison Stinchcomb, of Oakwood.