It's a big thrill to chase down a big buck or get a prize winning wild turkey. This send hunters into the woods every year by the millions to try to get that prize kill. It's definitely exciting, but can also be extremely dangerous, even lethal if hunters aren't aware of good safety tips or don't practice them. Make sure that you're well prepared before you leave on your next big hunting trip. Let other people know you're plans and be specific about where you are going and how long you plan to be there. It's best to leave very detailed instructions with family or friends about your trip in case you have an emergency and they need to help direct emergency personnel to your location. You also need to do your best to be back home at the time you specified to your family, or contact them to let them know you're running late to avoid unnecessary worry. The overall plan should be that if they haven't heard from you, or you haven't returned home then they start contacting emergency personnel to help you. Three other things that require extra attention are your weapon, your cell phone and a first aid kit. All three are a must to have in excellent working condition prior to your hunting trip. Make sure your gun is well cleaned and working properly. If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of facing a charging buck you'll want the gun to work flawlessly. Always pack a well stocked first aid kit that contains plenty of bandages and contains a snake bite kit. Always take your cell phone with you even if you think you may have spotty reception. Texts will sometimes deliver even when a voice conversation isn't possible. Of course, keep the phone turned off so that the prey isn't spooked by an incoming call or text. Also, always know where you're at in the woods in case of emergency. Cell phones with GPS technology can assist with this, otherwise it would be wise to invest in a gps capable navigation device. Once you get to your hunting location, it's best to put on neon orange clothing on your head and chest to help keep from being wounded by other hunters. Camo gear is great to keep hidden from animals, but not so great at keeping you safe from a trigger happy hunter. If you're hunting with a group, always try to know where the other members of your hunting party are located to help avoid accidents. If you're using a doe decoy, then place orange safety tape on the perimeter of your decoy area so that other hunters don't mistake your decoy for the real thing and start shooting in your general direction. It's also a good idea when using a decoy to use a deer stand to elevate you so that your not on the same plane as the decoy in case another hunter accidentally fires on the decoy. If you don't make an immediate kill shot and have to track the wounded animal, always use extreme caution. In addition to the obvious danger of the wounded animal, other animals in the area can sense the wounded animal and become overly agitated. Never allow yourself to become positioned between the wounded animal and a solid object, and always have an escape plan if the wounded animal decides to attack. If attacked, protect your head and chest as much as possible to increase your chances of survival. You'll also want to be on the look out for potential predators in the area like bears, coyotes, wolves, etc. Always remember that they'll smell the blood of your kill and may head in your direction. Also, watch for poisionous snakes on warmer hunting days. A snake bite can ruin the perfect hunting trip very quickly. It is also important to be aware of and on the lookout for other animals like bears and snakes that may be encountered while hunting. Being aware of your surroundings is an important step in staying safe while hunting. Use some caution and common sense to ensure many more years of happy hunting yet to come. One option to prepare for everything, including predators is to setup a trail camera in your hunting area. It will show you not only the big buck that you're after, but will also capture images of potential predators in the area. Check the camera before you begin your hunt, so you'll be better prepared for what you may encounter.