Safe Hunting Tips

STEPS to Safe Tree Stand Hunting

By remembering these STEPS to tree stand safety, you can reduce your risk of falling and be prepared to signal for help if you do fall.

Safety harness or belt: Always wear a full-body safety harness whenever your feet leave the ground. Tree stand maintenance: Check your stand for missing or broken parts before each use. Evaluate your stand site: Select trees that are alive and will support your weight. Partners and plans: Hunt with a partner and have a plan in case of an emergency. Signals: Carry a whistle or other signaling device should you need assistance.

Also, after you are secured in the stand, use a haul line to bring gear up to you. Make sure firearms are unloaded with the action open. For more tips, take this free online treestand safety course.

Hunting Safety Tips

Hunting Safety Tips
  • Positively identify your target. Be sure you are shooting at legal game. Never shoot at sounds or movement.
  • Stay in the zone! Know your safe zone-of-fire. Never shoot at game moving between you and someone else.
  • Plan your hunt! Let someone know where you're hunting and when you'll return.
  • Buckle up! If you hunt from an elevated stand, always wear a full-body, fall-restraint device as soon as your feet leave the ground until they return.
  • Keep fit! Hunting is hard work. Don't become a statistic—keep physically fit. Start with a check-up and follow your doctor's advice.
  • Stay found! Become familiar with your hunting area. Learn how to use a map and compass or GPS unit. Be prepared for emergencies. Carry a basic survival kit and know how to use it.
  • Be seen! Wear or display the required amount of fluorescent orange clothing.

Turkey Hunting Safety Tips

To keep turkey hunting a safe and enjoyable activity, follow these rules:
  • Positively identify your target! Be certain the bird is fully and plainly visible before pulling the trigger. Don't shoot at sounds or movement.
  • Never stalk a turkey! Movement or sounds you think are a turkey may be another hunter. Be patient; let the bird come to you.
  • Protect your back. Select a large tree, rock or other natural barrier while calling. Hunt in open woods.
  • Shout "STOP" to alert approaching hunters. Never move, wave or make turkey sounds to alert others of your position.
  • Dress to be safe. Never wear red, white, blue or black clothing. These are the colors found on mature gobblers.
  • Cover up. Don't carry harvested birds in the open. Cover them with fluorescent orange or completely conceal from view in a game bag.
  • Be seen. Wear or display the required amount of fluorescent orange, particularly when moving.

Primary Firearm Safety Rules

When using a firearm, be sure to follow these five primary safety rules. You can remember these rules by thinking SMART.

Safe Direction: Keep your firearm pointed in a safe direction at all times.
Make sure: Positively identify your target.
Always check: Know what's beyond your target before shooting.
Respect firearms: Treat all firearms as if they are loaded.
Trigger caution: Don't touch the trigger until you are ready to shoot.









Pennsylvania Game Commission, 2001 Elmerton Ave, Harrisburg Pennsylvania 17110-9797