(Oct. 25, 2011) — With the hunting and trapping season upon us, it's important to keep safety in mind when venturing outdoors. Both hunters and non-hunters who live near hunting land have a responsibility to protect themselves, their pets and livestock and their property.
Many states require new hunters to complete a hunter-safety course before taking to the field. These courses will provide important safety precautions like dressing in proper apparel, whether its camouflage or blaze orange. People who hike in areas where hunters may be present should wear bright clothing. Don't let children go on hikes without an adult.
Protect your livestock
Even landowners who never pull a trigger or set traps must take precautions to protect their land and animals during hunting season.
Because pets and livestock are sometimes mistaken for deer or are caught in traps, it is wise to lock up animals that usually have free reign of your land. Many farmers spray paint an "X" on the flanks of grazing livestock to help avoid confusion. Pen livestock near farm buildings to further distinguish them from deer, and check your animals and gates daily.
Protect your property
Homeowners should think twice before opening up their acreage to anyone except family members and close friends. They expose not only their property to accidental losses, but also themselves to liability and potential litigation.
If you don't want hunters on your land, post "No Trespassing" or "No Hunting" signs around the perimeter of your property. If you do permit access, require the hunters to check in each time they enter your property, and get the names of each person in the hunting party. Often one person who obtains permission to hunt on a farm feels free to invite others without informing the landowner.
Based in Madison, Wis., American Family Insurance offers auto insurance, homeowners insurance, life insurance, health insurance, business and farm/ranch insurance in 19 states. American Family Mutual Insurance Company is the nation's third-largest mutual property/casualty insurance company. Web: www.amfam.com; Facebook: www.facebook.com/amfam; Twitter: www.twitter.com/amfam.