Safety

Open Hand Dug Pool Wells, At ground Surface Level

A ground level uncovered well opening near an abandon barn yard. Tough to see until right on top of it. Even tougher to see when moving into turkey or deer stand in early morning dark.

And another....

Junk hidden by grass posing a threat to running dogs or hunter. What can be readily seen was for the value of this picture. What is not seen hidden in shallow grass immediately to its right is a frame harrow. An ankle turner or worse.

Railroad crossings in the country may be marked with signs, rarely with crossing gates/lights. At night an oncoming train's headlight will provide warning. During day a train engineer may not even sound his horn. Traveling pleasantly down a country road with windows up and radio playing while talking to your partner may be all the distraction that would be necessary to miss seeing an oncoming train.

Slippery when wet has more meaning in the country than on city streets. Take your MAHA Yellow Pages county listing that includes tow truck service telephone numbers with you with your lease maps.

Lyme infected tick bite from southern Kansas. Simple DEET spray or greasy overlay of lotion should protect against tick bites.

Farm Equipment On Road

While traveling country roads at night, tractor lights always look farther away than they are. Due to their slower travel speed a hunter's vehicle will come up on them faster than may be expected.

Electric Fencing

There are two types of electric stock fence.

One is the 12 volt DC. The other is 110 volt AC powered fence.

For most of us both will give us a good reminder to pay attention. For those with pace makers a 110 VAC fence may have a more severe effect.

Abandoned Homesteads

Abandoned homesteads found on many properties easily attract a hunter's attention as he wonders how it must have been to live in such remote places without any services.

Hazard are sometimes covered. Sometimes not. A hand dug pool well with open top will swallow dog or hunter easily well out of sight/sound of help. They are frequently near old dwellings. Sometimes empty and sometimes with water. Both hunter and dog may find themselves taking a plunge if not careful.

Add to that junk, glass and exposed nails sticking from boards. All camouflaged by high grass. That should be reason enough to stay clear of abandoned structures.

Common Stuff

A very good idea is to ensure the hunter's significant other has the Association's telephone number when the hunter is away on hunting trips. The Association reservation system will tell where every hunter is hunting. This combined with his lodging telephone number provides two avenues for loved ones to contact a hunter.

Another method is when we do get a wife calling in an overdue husband report our member agreement contains their vehicle identification. Local sheriffs are more likely to respond to requests for assistance if vehicle identification is known. Wives never know the full vehicle description at time of their calling for help.

Hunting Buddies

The buddy hunt list works very well at teaming up hunters.

Whenever hunting with someone for the first time always review each other's hunting safety expectations. For example when appropriate always wear hunter orange.

Newly teamed up hunters will not have a pattern of working together. It will be much safer if each is readily seen by the other.

Upland hunters should review how only birds with blue sky backgrounds are shot. There will be dogs on the ground that will be difficult to see. Low angle shots may impact a hunter or dog.

Duck hunters need to establish first who will call. Then who will shoot before any flight of ducks.

And, so forth.

Driving

Country road intersections are largely unregulated by stop signs. Meaning each direction has equal right of way. It is always better to slow down and look before crossing any country road intersection. Even though the vast majority of the time no other vehicle is coming down the other road. There will be a time somewhere in the future when a close encounter will happen.

The culvert is a preferred country bridge. They do occasionally washout during heavy rains. Flooding water may cut a ditch across the road that is likely not to be seen at night in time enough to stop.

When parallel parking along a road edge to hunt a property park your vehicle at the top of a hill rather than at the bottom or on a slope. On top of the hill the vehicle, loading or unloading hunters gear and dogs will be readily seen by oncoming traffic. Further, parking at the very bottom of any hill may find the roadside ditch deeper or a culvert both of which could easily get a tire stuck.

Many of our hunting locations are remote. Having a backup vehicle battery jumpstart capability, extra fan belt, tool kit, stout tape to repair a hose, tire in a can, or water may mean the difference between walking miles for help or driving out.

Quail Hunters

Upland hunting in Missouri is closed during the rifle deer season. That starts the middle two weeks of November. Kansas and Iowa upland bird hunting remains open during their respective gun deer seasons. If the reason for this needs to be explained then we have allocated a slot to the wrong person.

Fires

Prairie grass is very flammable. That can be testified by two of our members who have made insurance payments for burned fields. Do not smoke while hunting Association leases. Smokers we know will ignore this piece. We do not pretend to be ignorant of smokers We post this so there will be less of an argument when it surfaces.

Water

We construct our wetlands for chest wader access. However there are deep parts. We identify those on our map sheets as best we can. Always remember we cannot control weather with a slight rain upstream may cause deep water. Use a scouting stick, life preserver, etc., to be safe. Special note for the Big Creek and South Grand River wetlands be especially careful as these watersheds are well known for their rapidly rising water from rains out-of-sight up stream.

Any one waterfowl hunting must be careful of ice on ponds, streams and lakes. A no brainer we know. What we have found with others however is while ice forms each season, warm periods common each winter will make for thin ice for both hunter and dog. Floatation devices are the only way to hunt around ice. Including for dogs. We strongly advise all hunters to use life jacket when on wetlands or when in their boats/canoes. Safety always comes first. Few of us would consider using a tree stand without a safety harness. Same should be for life jackets around water.

Turkey Season

More public land turkey hunters are shot each spring than any other type of hunting accident. Packing a hunter orange hat is easily done. It is easily put on whenever moving from a setup. So far no one has been shot on Association hunts.

Rural mud road safety well advertised. Seemingly benign activities of traveling down a country road when wet resulted in this accident. A common road that is maintained only by scraping dirt, no gravel.

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