As you’re probably aware if you live in Wisconsin, deer season is only two days away. Soon hunters from all across the state will be headed to their stands and blinds as gun opener begins on Saturday, and every year we field a number of calls related to deer and deer camp. In an effort to help keep you safe when you’re hunting or simply driving around during deer season, we wanted to share some simple safety tips to keep in mind.
Below, we share some tips for avoiding a deer-related emergency in Wisconsin.
Avoiding Deer-Related Accidents This Winter
Whether you’ll be up in a stand or driving to a friend’s house for Widow’s Weekend, it’s important that you practice some safety precautions so that you don’t need to call for an ambulance because of a deer. We’ll start with the bigger threat to safety and focus on some driving-related tips for avoiding a car accident involving a deer.
Car collisions with a deer are incredibly common here in Wisconsin, as traffic data shows that there are roughly 4,000 deer-related car accidents every year throughout the state. And while only a small number of these accidents result in fatalities (46 such fatalities over the last five years), many people involved in an accident with a deer end up needing to call the police or an ambulance. So what can you do to avoid needing to call an ambulance because of a deer-related car accident? Here are some helpful tips.
Don’t Swerve – If we realize that we’re not going to be able to stop in time before colliding with a deer, it can be instinctive to try to swerve. This is extremely dangerous, as you can strike other vehicles or end up rolling your vehicle when swerving at high speeds. It’s much safer to try to reduce your speed, even if it means hitting the deer, so long as it keeps you in your lane.
Put Down The Distractions – If you’re driving at times when there’s not much traffic, you may think that you can get away with checking your phone or playing with the radio. Keep your eyes on the road at all times, because a deer can appear in your path very quickly. Always pay attention to the road, especially during deer season.
Where There’s One, There’s More – If you see a deer on the side of the road, know that there’s likely more that you can’t see. Slow down and be mindful that if one deer crosses the road, it’s not uncommon for others to follow.
Know The Peak Times – Deer are more active in the early morning and evening hours, so be extra vigilant if you’ll be traveling in your car at these peak times.
Get Your Car And Yourself To Safety – Finally, in the event that you strike a deer, make sure you do what you can to get your vehicle and yourself off the road and to safety. Don’t try to move the deer or walk along the highway. Get your vehicle and yourself to a safe location and call for help.
Safety Tips At Deer Camp
The vast majority of gun owners in Wisconsin are very responsible, but every year we are dispatched to respond to accidents that occur during opening weekend. From accidental discharges to falls from tree stands, you also need to be mindful of how to keep yourself and your party safe at deer camp. Here are some quick tips to avoid the need for an ambulance when you’re out hunting:
- Never aim your gun at something you don’t plan to shoot.
- Treat every firearm as loaded.
- Remember that alcohol and guns don’t mix.
- Wear a safety harness if you’ll be hunting from a tree stand.
- Know where everyone else in your party is hunting.
- Make sure you know exactly what you’re shooting at before you fire.
- Identify what’s in front and what’s behind your target before shooting.
- Keep your finger away from the trigger until you’re ready to shoot.
- Always wear orange when out hunting or when on public land during gun season.
- Check your stands each year to make sure they are safe and operational before setting them up or climbing them.
If you keep all these tips in mind, we’re confident that you’ll be able to reduce your need for an ambulance on account of a deer or a problem while hunting. Have a safe and wonderful hunt, and if you need an ambulance or medical assistance this weekend, know that the team at Gold Cross Ambulance is ready to respond!