Hunter Safety After a Storm or Flood
A major storm adds new dimensions to hunter safety. Hunters must be aware of the increased hazards. In some heavily damaged areas, hunting may be limited or cancelled for the year. Before going afield, it is advisable to check with the South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources Department to see if your favorite hunting spot falls into the closed category.
In addition to these suggestions, hunters should be encouraged to follow the 10 commandments of gun safety:
- Watch for washed-out roads and bridges along secondary roads and logging roads into hunting areas. Take care crossing bridges that may have suffered support damage due to high waters.
- Be cautious of holes created by the roots of downed trees.
- Climb over fallen trees and other debris with an unloaded gun and great care.
- Take extra caution in poor visibility to properly identify a target before shooting. This is especially important in areas where timber salvage crews may be working.
- Don't rely on a fallen or leaning tree to provide a good deer stand.
- Since areas that you were once familiar with before the storm may have changed appearances, in some cases drastically, don't rely on old landmarks to get you out of the woods. Carry a compass.
- Treat every firearm with the respect due a loaded gun.
- Watch the muzzle direction of the firearm.
- Unload firearms when not in use.
- Be sure that there is no obstruction in the gun barrel.
- Be sure of the target before you pull the trigger.
- Never point a firearm at anything you don't want to shoot.
- Never climb a tree or fence or jump a ditch with a loaded firearm.
- Never shoot a bullet at a flat, hard surface or water.
- Store firearms and ammunition separately.
- Avoid alcohol and other drugs use with firearms.