We all know that no matter how careful you are, accidents do happen. Since hunters may not have immediate access to medical help when trouble strikes, it’s important for you to know how to deal with unexpected injuries.

Here are the best ways to prepare.

Appropriate First Aid kit. Note the word appropriate—not all First Aid kits are the same. You need one that has the supplies you need for the field and matches your ability to provide aid. You don’t need a kit that’s more suited for an Army medic, nor do you want one that’s essentially designed to treat minor cuts and scrapes. You’re looking for lightweight, efficient, and practical.

Tailor your kit to your own preferences, but here are some essentials:

  • antiseptic wipes
  • insect repellent
  • gauze pads
  • duct tape (for bandaging)
  • butterfly bandages and band-aids
  • super glue or ZipStitch
  • tourniquet
  • Sam splint
  • QuickClot or Celox (speeds up clotting process 3x)
  • tweezers
  • skin stapler
  • medications: Ibuprofen, Benadryl, antacids, EpiPen

Remember, although weight is always a consideration, the further away from medical help you’ll be, the more first-aid items you should carry. You’ll also want to pack communication and survival equipment, but that’s for another blog.

First Aid Course. Every hunter should take a First Aid Course to be prepared to handle common hunting injuries, including broken bones, bleeding, and burns. In addition, if a tourniquet becomes necessary, it’s essential to learn how to use it without causing harm.

Several First Aid courses for hunters are available online. One very thorough and easy-to-follow course is offered by hunter-ed www.huntr-ed.com. Their First Aid information is also available in print form and would be a smart addition to your First Aid kit.

The hunter-ed course covers:

  • How to stop severe bleeding
  • Splinting or immobilizing broken bones
  • Treating burns, CO poisoning, and chest wounds
  • Treating drownings, heart attacks, and falls from tree stands
  • Treating shock
  • Treating snakebite
  • Suggested First Aid supplies

Additional First Aid information resources. A quick internet search will turn up a wealth of excellent supplemental First Aid information for hunters, including how to treat injuries to your hunting dog.

A word to the wise. Although having a well-stocked First Aid kit is essential, it can give you a false sense of security unless you also learn how to use those supplies in an emergency! Advice from a friend here—take time to brush up on your First Aid basics before your next hunting trip.