With just about any sport you participate in, there comes a risk of injury. Hunting and fishing are no exceptions. From getting a hook caught in your finger to sustaining hearing damage from a gunshot, there are a number of risks inherent in hunting and fishing that shouldn’t be overlooked. These popular outdoor sports can be a lot of fun and be extremely rewarding but being aware of potential dangers and how to handle them will help you stay safe when you prepare to head out on the water or to your tree stand.
Fishing seems like a risk-free sport to some, but it can actually come with a lot of potential for injury. Boating ramps and docks can be slimy and slick, and with a slippery surface comes accidental falls and sprained ankles, cuts and lacerations, and more. Additionally, falling into cold water can lead to hypothermia, even in the summertime! Take a look at some of these common fishing injuries that can occur and learn how to prevent and prepare for them.
Falling on Slippery Surfaces
You’ve probably seen those “fail” videos of people slipping and wiping out spectacularly. While you may not think it will happen to you, fishing brings you into contact with a variety of surfaces that can easily lead to injury. Rocking boats, slippery docks, and inclined boat ramps, for instance, can all result in a bad fall. That fall may injure more than your pride. If you twist your ankle in a certain way when going down, you could end up spraining it, and if you catch yourself with your hand, you could hurt your wrist. Even worse—if you hit your head, you could end up with a concussion. Make sure that you wear the proper boating shoes or sandals with traction so that you can walk safely and minimize your risk of falling.
Cuts and Scrapes
Cuts and scrapes are some of the more common injuries associated with fishing. After all, anything that involves sharp hooks and even sharp fish fins has the potential to harm you. Be aware of your surroundings and how you are handling equipment. You may want to wear thick gloves that a hook or pointy fish fin can’t poke through. And be sure to bring a small first aid kit with you on any fishing trip to address any smaller injuries that occur. Cuts that occur in the water are at higher risk for injuries and in some cases benefit from antibiotics to prevent infections.
You may think it can’t happen in the summer, but hypothermia can still set in—even when the air
temperature is warm. Hypothermia is an extreme medical emergency that occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce heat. Your body is unable to function normally when its temperature drops below 95 degrees, and your organs begin to fail—thus making hypothermia extremely dangerous. Call 911 if you suspect a person is suffering from hypothermia. Make sure that you are properly dressed in plenty of layers to prepare you for any sudden cold weather or splashes of icy lake water.
Hunting can be extremely fulfilling, but only if you are practicing safe hunting habits. There are several dangerous aspects of this sport, especially considering that most hunting takes place with a gun nowadays. While gunshot injuries aren’t very common, there are a few more common risks such as hearing damage from gunshots and slipping or falling in the woods.
While it may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to the risks involved with hunting, hearing damage is most certainly one of them. When you are exposed to noise greater than 140 dB, hearing damage can occur. The bad news is that most firearms produce noise greater than that! If you aren’t wearing the correct hearing protection, you can suffer severe hearing damage in as little as one shot. The most important part of protecting your hearing while hunting is wearing proper protection such as earmuffs or earplugs. As a hunter, you may be thinking that you won’t be able to hear any game approaching if you are wearing protection. The good news is that there are several different types of hearing protection devices out there that will allow you to be able to hear soft noises while reducing the loud ones. This way, you’ll be protecting your hearing and won’t miss that once in a lifetime shot.
Slips and Falls
Just like with fishing, hunting carries a risk of falling. This can be especially dangerous if you are a hunter who uses a tree stand. When you are first setting up your stand for the upcoming hunting season, make sure that you follow all directions in order to stay safe. Select a healthy, living tree to attach your stand to, always use a safety harness, and never carry anything up with you. Instead, use a haul line to raise or lower your gear, making sure your gun is not loaded during transit. Of course, there are many other precautions to take involving a tree stand, so be sure to educate yourself on proper safety by doing further research or learning from a more experienced hunter to help avoid severe injuries.
Treat Your Injuries at The Urgency Room
The first and most important step to protecting your wellbeing is getting treatment right away. The board-certified emergency room physicians at The Urgency Room can treat you quickly and efficiently. We are conveniently open 365 days a year in Eagan, Vadnais Heights, or Woodbury. Don’t spend long wait times in the emergency room—head to your nearest Urgency Room today.