Safety at Steigerwaldt: Hunting Season Safety

Happy September, all! Here we are at the doorstep of autumn. Soon, all the leaves will be changing, the weather will be nice and cool, and we get to say goodbye to our insect friends until spring. September brings lots of change to Wisconsin from the weather and the work we do to the food and drinks we buy and the hobbies in which we take part. One of these popular fall hobbies/sports is hunting.

Bow season for deer will be beginning this month along with grouse, wild turkey, and early goose. Hunting is a fun sport that provides families with food, bonding memories, and a chance to enjoy the great outdoors in autumn. It is also a sport that needs to be taken seriously by both hunters and non-hunters alike.

As foresters, it is our job to ensure that we are always making safe decisions and planning for the challenges of the day. This time of year, we need to be aware that there may be people hunting in the same forests we are working in; therefore, it is our job to communicate with hunters when we have the chance.

Some of the questions that the hunter and the forester should ask each other are as follows:

  • Where will you be working or hunting today?
  • How long does each party plan to be in the woods?
  • Does each party have the appropriate clothing/gear on to see each other?
  • What type of hunting is taking place?
  • Is this a safe time to be working in this area?

Asking one another questions such as these is very important this time of year to ensure no one gets hurt and so there is little confusion. If you are not able to communicate with the hunter, be sure to wear your bright orange vest or some form of orange/bright color in the woods to be visible to nearby hunters. It is also the hunter’s job to communicate with people they do not know, such as foresters, and to follow hunting protocol.

Whether you are looking forward to pumpkin-flavored foods and walks among the changing leaves or going duck hunting, please be sure to communicate to others what you plan to do in the forest this fall and hunting season. Have fun and be safe!

For more hunting safety information, please visit the Wisconsin DNR or MU Health Care.

– Nate Loeffler, Forester