By now, summer is a distant memory. Shorter days, cool weather, and leaves on the ground are here. Some people will be sad about the changing seasons, but for New York hunters, these changes mark hunting season. With plenty of wooded areas filled with deer, turkeys, pheasants, and other game, New York is a hunting paradise.

Compared to other outdoor sports, hunting isn’t the most dangerous activity, but because it involves guns and bows and arrows, good sportsmen know they must be careful at all times.

Even years after taking a hunters’ safety course, hunters must remember the basics:

  • Treat all firearms as if they’re loaded;
  • Never point your gun at a person and only point at what you plan to shoot;
  • Don’t put your finger on the trigger until you’re ready to shoot; and
  • Before shooting, clearly identify your target and what’s beyond it.

Staying safe while hunting isn’t limited to safely handling your own gun. Unstable terrain, dangerous animals, bad weather, and even other hunters can become risks. One of the best ways to avoid harm is to hunt with a buddy. You can watch out for each other, and, if someone does get hurt, they can summon help. If you don’t like to hunt with others, you should tell others when and where you’ll be hunting.

Remember to make sure to wear your hunter orange so you’re visible and not mistaken for an animal. A Department of Environmental Conservation study found that 76% of hunting accidents involved people who weren’t wearing hunter orange at the time. And if you’re in the woods after dark, bring a flashlight so others know you’re a human, not an animal.

If the worst happens and you or a loved one are involved in a hunting accident, The Coppola Firm can assist. Homeowners insurance may be available to help offset the cost of an injury. We’re here to help you navigate this complex area of law.