Hunting Safety and Your Pet

We are well into our Michigan hunting season and opening day for firearms is just around the corner. Whether you are a hunter or not, there are a few things you need to be aware of to help keep your pets safe during the hunting season.

~ Know the hunting season dates.  Even if you are not a hunter, if you enjoy hiking with your pets, you need to know when hunters are out. The following is a link from the Michigan DNR that has all of the hunting seasons listed:,4570,7-153-10363—,00.html

~ Know where it is legal to hunt in your area. You may want to avoid these places during hunting season. Even public trails can be near private land, where hunting may be allowed. Do your research to make sure you and your pet are safe year round.

~ Avoid walking in wooded areas at dawn and dusk. These are prime hunting times and visibility is limited.

~ On that note, make yourself and your pet as visible as possible. Wear bright colors, preferably “hunter orange”, which is the universal color for hunters. If you see a hunter, announce that you and your pet are there.

~ Make sure your dog is wearing the proper gear. A “hunter orange” canine vest will make them visible to other hunters. Also consider booties to protect their feet.

~ Consider putting a bell on your pet’s collar to help hunters hear him/her coming. On that same note, you may want to keep up a conversation with your pet as you walk. Talking will make your presence known, and keep your pet entertained as well.

~ Keep your pets on a leash. By keeping your pets close to you, it is much less likely that they will be mistaken for game bounding through the woods or a field.

~ Carry a first aid kit. You never know when you, or your pet, might need it.


For those of you that have hunting dogs, here are a few tips to help keep them safe as well.

~ Make sure all of your dog’s vaccinations are up to date. In addition, be sure they are current on flea and tick preventative.

~ Be sure that your dogs have tags, are microchipped and/or have a radio collar. Even the most obedient dogs can get lost.

~ Be aware of weather conditions. If it is cold and your dog gets wet find a place where they can get out of the elements, dry them as much as possible. Watch for signs of hypothermia. If the weather is warm, watch for signs of heat exhaustion.

~ Always carry fresh water for your dog to drink.

As with any situation, being knowledgeable and vigilant will assure that you and your pet are safe during hunting season.

By on November 13th, 2013 in Pet Care