Monday, October 01, 2012
LA CROSSE, Wis. — Errant gunshots are an obvious health risk during fall hunting season, but a range of other dangers also can send hunters to the hospital or worse: heart attacks, injured backs and broken bones are among the most common medical emergencies. Emergency medicine physician Eric Grube, D.O., of the Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse offers several tips for a safe hunting season.
"I am a hunter and always need to remind myself to lead by example when I'm in the woods," Dr. Grube says. "Hunting can be a fun sport for all to enjoy. But we need to make sure that fun isn't spoiled by some unfortunate accident."
Hunters should make sure they are properly educated about their surroundings. They also should be diligent with safety precautions, wear clothing suitable for hunting and for the weather, stay level headed, and always alert other hunters to their presence, he says.
Other tips from Dr. Grube:
Dr. Grube notes four basic rules of firearm safety from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources known as TAB-K: Treat every firearm as if it is loaded, always point the muzzle in a safe direction, be certain of your target and what's beyond it, and keep your finger outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot.
For example, if a hunter stumbles with a firearm in one hand and nothing in the other, whatever that person does with the free hand will automatically happen with the hand holding the gun, the agency notes. So if a finger is inside the trigger guard, that hand will likely close around the pistol grip of the gun and on the trigger causing an unwanted discharge.
To interview Dr. Grube, please contact Rick Thiesse in Mayo Clinic Health System Public Affairs at 608-392-9435 or Thiesse.Ricky@mayo.edu.
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