Hunting injuries are on the rise this year. The economic downturn has led to more outdoors-men and women in search of inexpensive food and entertainment sources. Many of these hunters are skimping on important safety gear, including sturdy tree stands and brightly colored safety vests. This has led to an increase in both accident shooting deaths, as well as debilitating injuries often incurred from falling from tree stands. It is an unfortunate irony that many of these hunters are simply seeking out cheap meat to help their family through a trying economic time, only to find themselves severely injured and unable to work. It is vitally important that hunters actively protect themselves, other hunters and their families from potential tragedy. Store your (unloaded) firearm in a high quality, locked gun cabinet. Keep the key in a secret place, where children and burglars cannot find it. Every time you retrieve or store your gun, make sure you unload it. This should be the first thing you think of whenever you retrieve or store your firearm. You should always keep your firearm in your control, but also operate under the assumption that someone else may have loaded the gun. Always keep your firearm and hunting equipment in good condition. Clean and oil your gun after use and every so often while it is in storage. Always keep your firearm securely stored in a high quality case when transporting it. Do not load the firearm until you are actually hunting. When hunting keep an eye on your hunting partners behavior. If you observe them swinging a rifle or gun recklessly, let them know that they are not being safe. Only hunt with people you know and trust to make good decisions. Do not drink alcohol while hunting and do not hunt with people who drink while hunting. Always wear appropriate hunting gear. A bright orange hat and safety vest can easily save your life. Keep in verbal contact with your hunting party and continually assess where everyone is situated. If you lose contact with your hunting party, stop hunting until you have reestablished contact. Never run with a loaded firearm. If you are traversing rough terrain or carrying game, take extra precautions with your firearm. Always consider where you can find medical assistance if needed. Keep a cell phone on hand and make sure family members or friends know where you are hunting and when you plan to return. About the Author: Richard Condon is the Director of Safety Depot, a secure online supplier of affordable, high quality safety gear, including reflective vests, jackets, and rain gear. Whether you need a regulation Class 2 vest or a bulk order of economy vests, www.safetydepot.com is your quality ANSI vest resource.