MADISON, Wis. – We’re halfway through regular spring turkey season, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is reminding hunters to adhere to best practices while out in the field, especially when it comes to camouflage safety.
Hunter camouflage is an important part of hunting turkey, but it may present a problem. The better you are camouflaged and concealed, the less likely another hunter will be able to see you, and the more likely you could be mistaken for a turkey.
Last spring, the DNR received two reports of hunting incidents, including one person who was imitating a turkey and was shot by another hunter from a different group. No incidents have been reported so far this spring.
To dress for success and safety, follow these tips from the National Wild Turkey Federation:
- Never wear pieces of clothing that contain the colors of red, white, or blue because they can be mistaken for colors found on wild turkeys.
- Be sure that accessories you carry that are red, white, or blue (decoys, diaphragm calls, box call chalk, candy wrappers, apples, cigarette packs, etc.) are not visible to other hunters.
- Camouflage your gun. Cover white diamonds or other red or white markings.
- Always keep your hands and head camouflaged when calling.
- If you see another hunter, call out to him or her to make them aware you are there. It is better to briefly disrupt a hunt than risk an incident.
- Wear dark-colored socks and pants that are long enough to keep your bare skin from being exposed.
- Do not “over-camouflage” by sitting in vegetation so thick that it obscures your vision.
- If you use a human-made blind or camouflage netting, maintain a clear field of view.
Other safety measures you may wish to consider include placing a blaze orange band around the tree you sit next to, placing a blaze orange sign “Camouflaged Hunter in Area – Be Careful” in your vehicle window and wearing blaze orange while moving from one spot to another.
In addition to watching your wardrobe, hunters are reminded to practice the four rules of Firearm Safety (TAB-K) while afield:
- T – Treat every firearm as if it is loaded
- A – Always point the muzzle in a safe direction
- B – Be certain of your target; what’s before and what’s beyond it
- K – Keep your finger outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot