Annual Safety Post

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Treerooster
 
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Location: Colorado

Annual Safety Post

Postby Treerooster » February 22nd, 2012, 10:30 am

In the spring of 2005, I had just finished a turkey hunt in Colorado with my friend James a couple days earlier. James headed to Kansas for another hunt and I was on the road to Black Hills of South Dakota. As I drove near a cell phone tower my phone beeped. It was a message from my wife. In an emotional and broken voice she said; “Gary call me, Fred shot James”

Below are his Xrays

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James was hit with a Remington #5 Hevi-shot from approximately 40yds (shooters estimate). He was just getting up from a calling position and was in full camo, including face mask and gloves. He had at least 139 hits. One pellet was within millimeters of an artery to the brain. One or Two passed through his lung. Two pellets are, to this day, lodged in his heart.

Let me get up on the soap box for a minute;

My job as a tree climber has some inherent dangers in it and when I first started learning to climb trees my boss said, "Gary, there are 2 times when you will be a danger to yourself. When you are afraid, and when you think you can't get hurt". I think the 2nd situation applies to us turkey hunters. If you think you can't get shot, for whatever reason, you are a danger to yourself. If you think you could never shoot someone, you are a danger to others. James was shot by his BIL that had over 40 years experience hunting and he was shot on private land.

Just like driving we can hunt defensively;

Always assume someone else could be in the woods with you, even if you are on private land no one is supposed to be there.

Set up your decoy so if someone were to shoot it, the shot would not hit you. Use folds in the terrain, a tree as a block, or plenty of open ground behind the decoy.

Don’t let the pressure to fill a tag let you make a poor decision.

Think about hunter orange (hat or flagging tape). Maybe while carrying your bird out, or possibly even a flag at your set-up. You don’t have to use it, but at least assess the situation.



Be safe guys. Hunt defensively and be sure of your target and whats beyond it.

Thanks for listening.

BTW James has recovered and continues to hunt turkeys.
As far as this turkey thing......I know enough...to know enough...that I don't know enough

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shaman
 
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Re: Annual Safety Post

Postby shaman » February 22nd, 2012, 5:03 pm

Thanks!!!

This is getting to be a yearly ritual isn't it?

I just want to add (as I always do) that if you are too experienced a hunter to pull the trigger on another hunter, you are part of the problem. The stats show that experienced turkey hunters (average 8 seasons) are the most common shooters. The problem is that we, as turkey hunters, train ourselves to see bits of white, red, and blue in the woods. If we see a flash of these colors, our brain is very good at manufacturing a whole turkey.

The best way to prepare yourself to be safe is to
a) eschew the wearing of red, white, or blue -- no white socks, no white T-Shirts, no red stripes on the tops of your socks.
b) When you set up, make sure your backside is covered by a tree or other backstop that will protect you from a shot on your blind side
c) If you see a hunter, make yourself known to him
d) Use a gobble call sparingly
e) be careful with decoys.

. .. there are a bunch of good things that you can do to be defensive. The point is the shooter actually sees a bird where there is none. The majority of turkey hunting incidents are mistaken-for-game incidents and a lesser number are shoot-through types where the shooter sends a load of shot at a turkey and it travels on into the victim. These are close-in shots, usually inside 40 yards and the victim is taking either straight into the face or more often a shot from the blind side going into the back, back of the neck and back of the head.

The best advice I can give a hunter to avoid being the perpetrator in these instances is to get your butt down and let the turkey come to you. Don't stalk a turkey.

The best advice I can give hunters on private land is to set up a zone for each member of your party, and don't stray out of that zone, and have planned travel routes to and from those zones. Don't give up at 8 after you screw up at flydown and take off running and gunning. This will keep hunters from straying into other guy's areas. Also, stay away from the neighbor's property line, and especially don't stand at the property line and try to call your neighbor's birds over. I've been involved in these sorts of situations in the past, and it is scary to suddenly realize that there is another hunter hunting YOU or that the gobbler you're calling in may pass between you and a stranger 25 yards away.

If you find yourself in one of these situations, don't be stupid and risk a face full of lead. Make your presence know, get up and get out.
Genesis 9:2-4 Ministries of SW Bracken County, KY
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eggshell
 
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Re: Annual Safety Post

Postby eggshell » February 22nd, 2012, 7:15 pm

I'm going to spare you the gory pictures this year, but take it from someone who has been shot turkey hunting....THE EXPERIENCE ISN'T WORTH HAVING. There is absolutely no fun or adventure in laying in the woods and wondering if you'll ever get to see you wife, kids or friends ever again, that you'll miss your grandkids growing up and that you may never see another turkey season and on and on! There isn't a day I don't feel around that huge cavity in my leg and think about how close I came to dying or wishing I had never gone through that experience.

Please take to heart what these gents have posted.
Bust em, Bag em, thank HIm

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Fan Club
 
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Location: Calhoun County, Michigan

Re: Annual Safety Post

Postby Fan Club » February 23rd, 2012, 8:08 am

Tragedy has touched my family as well. I lost an uncle in a deer hunting accident back in 1973. He was shot on private land by a trespassing teenage newbie who saw the bushes move and fired. Bill was hit in the groin by a 1 oz slug and it severed his femoral artery. There was no way to use a tourniquet and he was over a mile from the nearest road. His buddy had to go for help, the kid who shot him was understandably a useless mess. Bill bled to death before reaching the hospital.

My uncle was only 34 and left my aunt with three children all under the age of 10, the youngest at only 9 months. Even after 38 years, it still seems just as senseless now as it did then.

I hope anyone reading these words doesn't ever think "It'll never happen to me." Thank God mandatory hunter safety took root and hunter orange laws were passed, they have decreased hunting accidents exponentally. It is still the responsibility of each and every one of us to point out and correct safety issues and police each other. There is no such thing as being too safe!

William Dreese
Born: Oct 27, 1939
Died: Nov 21, 1973
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"The joy of living is his, who has the heart to demand it." Teddy Roosevelt

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turkey junky
 
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Re: Annual Safety Post

Postby turkey junky » February 23rd, 2012, 10:09 am

great way to start the season remind everybody what could happen we all need reminders... my brother was shot while duck hunting a guy came up on his decoys & shot at a duck in his decoys thinking all the hunters who were hunting at the decoys had left & it was his chance to bag a duck??? instead he sent some BBs into my brothers back & shoulder a few BBs are still in him to this day so keep that in mind when u set up you turkey decoy there is always some goofball out there that only thinks of himself & his unfilled tag!!!???

i have been shoot at least 2-3 times in/out of the woods & have had friends & family shot by others so i know all to well what can happen if u let ur guard down if i ever hear another hunter in my woods i get out of that woods as fast as possible i start talking loudly saying im a hunter not a turkey & i leave the area for that hunter to have a turkey isnt worth a bullet wound so i dont try to compete with other hunters for birds its just not safe or worth it to me at all...

the only thing i dont agree with on this thread is the hole if you dont think you can pull the trigger on another hunter then your part of the problem I KNOW I WILL NOT SHOOT ANOTHER HUNTER i have to see the turkey 1st & then make sure of my target & whats beyond it i dont shoot at colors in the woods or at movements... young up start hunters are for the most part safe hunters they are scared to mess up & have all that gun safety fresh in there minds & experienced hunters doesnt mean smart hunters lots of experienced hunters do dumb dumb things each season
think n i have been doing this for yrs...

everybody stay safe this season & good luck...

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dewey
 
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Re: Annual Safety Post

Postby dewey » February 23rd, 2012, 11:14 am

Think about hunter orange (hat or flagging tape). Maybe while carrying your bird out, or possibly even a flag at your set-up. You don’t have to use it, but at least assess the situation.


I think this is a great idea and thank you for sharing it. I have blaze orange duct tape and plan to use it this spring to creat a cirlce on the tree I am sitting up against. I have seen this safety post now for the past few years and I am always in shock at reading the stories of hunting accidents.

Be safe and good luck this spring guys/gals.

Dewey
"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will." --Mahatma Gandhi

"Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat."--F. Scott Fitzgerald, American writer

       

Tom21inNM
 
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Re: Annual Safety Post

Postby Tom21inNM » February 23rd, 2012, 5:48 pm

I carry an orange vest and beanie in my back pack, they dont weigh squat and when I am coming out of the woods, after a long day they both are worn, no matter if I bagged something or not, No sense giving a frustrated hunter a blurry target to hit after he has been skunked all day. A boyhood friend of mine got shot while dove hunting by his Father, who was a police offcer, he had just wandered to close to the line of site and when he swung the gun he took a good load of shot in his shoulder, luckily he came out of it with nothing more then a story to tell. Some arent that lucky as we have just been reminded.
Yeah my names Tom, guess I am a bit of a Turkey myself!

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turkey junky
 
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Re: Annual Safety Post

Postby turkey junky » February 23rd, 2012, 7:19 pm

i could not bring myself to blaze orange my set up tree & or wear blaze orange in the spring turkey season im just to old school id like to hope that some guy that has been out hunting n all day & got skunked wouldnt shoot at me to make up for his bad day in the woods???

i have said it B4 i hope i dont get shot at in turkey woods i mite could return fire thinking that somebody was shooting at me in anger cuz in my small brain nobody & i mean nobody should/could ever get a wild turkey confused with a up right walking human nobody ever that is horrible to do such a thing or be that confused while out in the turkey woods talk about a dangerous hunter...

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shaman
 
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Re: Annual Safety Post

Postby shaman » February 26th, 2012, 7:16 am

I wear orange on Opening Weekend as well as any time I'm thinking of heading anywhere near the property line during season. However, anymore I'm am loathe to keep the orange visible while I'm set up and actively hunting. I only wear it when I'm moving around.

My reason for this is that I have noticed that turkeys seem particularly skittish regarding this color. I've had several instances over the past few years where turkeys encounter me during deer season and seem abnormally disturbed by my orange . I discuss it here: The Clown Suit Revealed

I'd like to hear from y'all what you think.



By the way, I was digging around and located my response from last year's post There was something I left out:

Last year we had a bunch of guys, seemingly experienced hunters, who argued against all this

a) Thought it could never happen to them
b) Thought anyone who would shoot at something that wasn’t a turkey should be barred from the woods
c) Thought that anyone who went out into the woods unable to distinguish between a red sock flashing and a gobbler’s head should stay at home and watch cartoons.

These are the kind of guys who shoot other turkey hunters. It’s okay for them to be the way they are. I’m not saying they’re all that wrong. It is inconceivable for me to think that I’d kill another turkey hunter, or that my brain would synthesize a whole living turkey out of nothing. Still, the stats say that is exactly what happens. You need to be defensive. Don’t argue the point that it’s only some doofus that would take that kind of shot. If you’ve been in the woods more than 8 seasons, you’re the doofus.
Genesis 9:2-4 Ministries of SW Bracken County, KY
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Fan Club
 
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Re: Annual Safety Post

Postby Fan Club » February 26th, 2012, 10:08 am

shaman wrote:Last year we had a bunch of guys, seemingly experienced hunters, who argued against all this-

a) Thought it could never happen to them
b) Thought anyone who would shoot at something that wasn’t a turkey should be barred from the woods
c) Thought that anyone who went out into the woods unable to distinguish between a red sock flashing and a gobbler’s head should stay at home and watch cartoons.



Great addition, Shaman. Arguing these points is after the fact rhetoric. Just like you can't bring a call back after it's made, the shot can't be recalled once the trigger is pulled. After an accident, it doesn't matter who should be barred from the woods or thinks a red sock might look like a turkey head.

Safety needs to be preached and practiced on the front end of the hunt. If it feels unsafe...it is.
"The joy of living is his, who has the heart to demand it." Teddy Roosevelt

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