Deer Hunting During COVID-19 Pandemic

Over 600,000 Wisconsinites deer hunt every year. With bow season already underway and only a few more weeks until the start of gun hunting season, Holy Family Memorial says you can still enjoy the hunting season if you take precautions due to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

While hunting is an outdoor sport, where you can maintain social distancing from others, you will want to follow these tips if you’re planning to head to deer camp this year:

  • Stay home if you are feeling ill.
  • Hunt with members who live in the same household only or if with others make sure it is a small group.
  • Social distance and maintain at least 6 feet distance from others outside your immediate family.
  • Wear a mask if you are indoors or can’t be 6 feet apart and when you are in public places.
  • Sleep in separate areas if possible.
  • Wash hands frequently; use hand sanitizer if water is not available.
  • Bring and cook your own food, serve individual meals and use disposable dinnerware.

Dr. Todd Nelson, an emergency medicine provider at Holy Family Memorial, is encouraging hunters to make safety their number one priority. Contrary to popular belief that firearms are the most dangerous part of hunting, Dr. Nelson says tree stand accidents are the leading cause of injury to hunters every year.

Whether you’re an avid hunter or a beginner, Dr. Nelson says to keep the following safety tips in mind whenever preparing for a hunting trip:

  • Tell someone where you’ll be. Let a family member or friend where you’ll be hunting and when you expect to return. Keep a cell phone with you and consider investing in a portable battery charger.
  • Wear appropriate attire. Keep an eye on the weather forecast leading up to your hunting trip. Dress in warm layers and avoid cotton clothing. Wear hunter orange or reflective gear so that other hunters can see you.
  • Set up your tree stand properly. Always remove and inspect the tree stand before using it. Wear a full-body fall restraint harness and secure it properly every time. Be sure to connect to the tree before your feet leaves the ground.
  • Practice firearm safety. Treat every firearm as if it were loaded. Always point a firearm in a safe direction. Identify your target and make sure there are no other hunters, homes, buildings, vehicles, or other animals beyond the target. Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire.

“Hunting season in Wisconsin is an annual tradition for many individuals and a great time to make memories with family and friends,” says Dr. Nelson. “The best hunting trip is when everyone comes home safe and uninjured.”