Remember the Dick Cheney hunting accident? For those of you that don’t remember, it happened in 2006 when Cheney was Vice President of the United States under George W. Bush. The accident occurred when Cheney was hunting and accidentally shot his friend Harry Whittington during a quail hunting on a ranch in Texas.
The story goes that Cheney was aiming for a bird, and didn’t see his friend. Mr. Whittington did survive the shooting, and both of the men say it was definitely an accident. They were also all wearing bright orange safety gear, so that wasn’t the problem either. No one was drunk or otherwise impaired during the hunt, but regardless accidents and dangers are present at times while on a hunting trip.
Let’s look at some of the hidden dangers, other than getting shot by your buddy, that might come up while hunting to watch out for in the wild.
Ticks are Trouble
Getting a bite from a tiny tick that carries Lyme disease is a problem. Ticks are everywhere around the United States, but are especially present in wooded areas where people go hunting. The way to prevent getting bitten by a tick is to have long pants, long sleeves, and copious amounts of bug repellent with you at all times. After each hunt, carefully check yourself over in a full length mirror front and back to see if there are any ticks present on your body. They attach themselves with their black legs and can get embedded in your skin.
The way to remove a tick from the skin is to alcohol the area around the tick. Then, take a pair of very sharp tweezers to pluck the tick from its head out of your skin. Next, clean the area again with the alcohol.
The One Type of Spider That’s Poisonous
The only spider that is harmful to humans in the United States is the brown recluse spider. Most of these spiders come from Texas through the southern states, like Georgia and Louisiana, but you can also find them up through the Midwest as far north as Ohio.
When you are bitten by one, the pain will increase over the next eight hours. There might be a purple welt on your skin after the initial redness of the bite. You could have symptoms that are flu-like with chills and a fever. If you think you may have been bitten by a brown recluse spider, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
So Many Snakes
In warm weather hunting in the south and west, you may encounter different types of snakes. Most of the time they are harmless. But some of the venomous ones include the coral snake, rattlesnake, the copperhead, and the cottonmouth or water moccasin snake. You don’t want a bite from one of these bad boys.
Always be aware of your surroundings while hunting. Wear boots and pants that can help protect you. If you are bitten by a snake, the best thing to do is to head to the hospital emergency wound. Don’t try to “suck” the venom out yourself because you could make it worse.