Caution urged during big game season

RBC | As the big game hunting season continues Colorado Parks and Wildlife reminds hunters to be careful in all aspects of their hunting adventures. Recently, a hunter in the Gunnison area died from carbon monoxide poisoning after going to sleep with gas lanterns burning in his tent. The man only brought blankets which were not adequate for cold nights in the high country. A report on the incident stated that he used the lanterns in an attempt to stay warm. If a heater, stove or lantern that burns gas or oil is being used in an enclosed space such as a tent or a camper, adequate ventilation is needed. Hunters need to use high-quality sleeping bags and also pads that provide extra insulation and keep the bottom of the bag off the ground. Hunters should always be prepared to spend the night outside. In a pack, hunters should carry matches, a compass or GPS unit, flashlight, extra batteries, a space blanket, signaling device, rain gear and a hat and gloves. It’s best to be in good shape before hunting in Colorado. Those coming from lower altitudes should take at least one day to acclimatize by making some short hikes around camp. Every year a number of hunters go to hospitals because of cardiac problems. Many of those hunters come from lower altitudes and experience serious heart problems when they go into the high country. Doctors also say that some hunters injure themselves while handling arrows, knives, axes and other tools in camp or in the field. Wildlife officials advise hunters to cut slowly while field-dressing big game. Hunters who are not familiar with field-dressing can view videos to learn how. A video is available on the CPW website at cpw.state.co.us/learn/ Pages/HuntVideos.aspx; many videos also are available on YouTube. More and more hunters in Colorado are now hunting from tree stands. It’s recommended that hunters assemble the stand at home and practice climbing in and out of it before going into the field. Finally, hunters are urged to be extra careful while handling their rifles. A majority of firearm mishaps happen in and around vehicles while guns are being loaded and unloaded. It is unlawful to carry a loaded firearm in a vehicle in Colorado. For more hunting and survival tips, check out these articles on the CPW website: cpw.state.co.us/aboutus/Pages/News-Release-Details.aspx?NewsID =5858.