Accidents happen so before you head out on your next hunting trip, it’s important to know what information on your hunting plan can help law enforcement officials find you in case of an emergency. There are several things that you should include when drafting the hunting plan you’ll be leaving with a friend or relative.
The main piece of info that should be included is where you will be located. In addition to your planned destination, you should also mention an alternative hunting spot as well as specific directions you will be taking, who you’ll be with, and both your contact information as well as how to get a hold of anyone else that will be with you.
Preparing Your Hunting Plan
Nobody ever expects to be caught in an emergency situation, but it is important to be prepared just in case. Part of being a responsible hunter is thinking ahead and anticipating potential issues that could arise so you have a backup plan if needed. Having a solid plan reduces the chances of serious injuries and other problems that can occur on a hunt.
If you want to minimize the risk of being caught in a dangerous position, there are some things to take into consideration. Being able to anticipate potential problems allows you to have a plan in place in the event that you’re faced with a dangerous situation. Some things to research during the planning phase is the location, weather, terrain, and local predators. If you are in an area that does not get a lot of rain, you should also check into the likelihood of running into a forest fire.
The most important thing when it comes to hunting is ensuring everyone stays safe. There are a number of things that can go wrong when hunting and being ready to take action is crucial. Some injuries and hazards to keep in mind are falls, cuts and lacerations, and becoming lost. One step you can take to keep yourself as safe as possible is don’t take on a trip that you won’t be able to handle. Take into consideration your physical health before deciding on a location.
Other ways to increase the safety of the trip:
- Brush up on firearm safety and hunting rules. Each of your hunting companions should refresh their memories and review together as a group.
- Stretch before you head out to reduce the risk of injuries.
- Keep a first aid kit on hand, making sure it is fully stocked.
- Use quality gear. Make sure you are wearing good shoes with adequate arch and ankle support. Keep a headlamp with you in case you need to see your surroundings in the dark.
- Stay hydrated.
Know Your Location
Once you decide where you will be hunting, learn as much as possible about the spot you picked. Having internet access is ideal, as you can look up topographic maps, aerial shots, and satellite photos of the location. In addition to becoming familiar with the land itself, you should also find out if there are any plants or wildlife in the area that could potentially pose a threat. If you live close to the location, visiting the spot before the hunt allows you to get a good view of everything so you know what to expect when the hunting trip rolls around.
If the hunting trip is not going to be local and you’re unable to find the information online, these suggestions are great ways to get the info you need to be best prepared for the trip:
- Contact the wildlife agency that is local to the county or province you are planning on visiting. You can ask them if they have a topographic map that would be able to be mailed to you. There may be a fee associated with this.
- Get in contact with the bureau of tourism if they have one. From there, you can find out about hunting guidelines and regulations. They may even be able to suggest a good hunting spot for you.
- Check hunting magazines and catalogs for local guided hunts if you don’t want to plan the entire hunt on your own.
Writing Your Hunting Plan
A hunting plan is a great way to ensure that you’ll be able to be found if you are injured or face any other situations where a rescue is needed. After you have your trip more or less laid out, it’s time to write your hunting plan. This plan will be left with at least one friend or relative so that law enforcement can find you if the trip takes an unexpected turn.
If you have never written a hunting plan, you’ll probably be surprised by how easy it is to prepare. You can write it completely from scratch or you can download a hunting plan form online that you can fill out. If you don’t have access to the internet or you just prefer to write the plan yourself, make sure to include the following information:
- The location of where you’ll be hunting. If you have the coordinates for the hunting spot, that would be a good thing to include.
- Very specific, detailed directions that you will be taking to get there. Include your driving directions and where you will be parking as well as the route from your vehicle to the hunting spot.
- Alternative locations if you have a backup for weather or low productivity in your original spot. Include detailed directions to these locations as well.
- The phone numbers and carriers for each member of the group. If there is an emergency and you are unable to be reached, law enforcement can contact the carrier to locate you via GPS.
- Also, be sure to include a return date and time.
- Always inform the person that has your hunting plan if anything changes.
When it comes to hunting, the main thing to think about is safety. While you definitely want to have a productive trip, you won’t be able to fill your family’s freezer with venison if you are injured, or worse. In order to keep everyone as safe as possible, it’s important to know what information on your hunting plan can help law enforcement officials find you. Ensuring your hunting plan includes your anticipated locations, contact information, and cell phone provider, law enforcement should have no problem locating you if needed.