Hunters – Be Extra careful during rifle season


DURANGO, Colo. – As the big game hunting season continues Colorado Parks and Wildlife reminds hunters to be careful in all aspects of their hunting adventures. While few hunters are injured from firearm accidents, other activities in the field can cause problems.

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.

“Spend more time with your family and friends, whether it be outside, hunting, at the shooting range or around the table, savoring all life has to offer.” MM 

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 to assure carbon monoxide is expelled and that clean air circulates through.

Hunters need to use high-quality sleeping bags that are rated for low temperatures and also pads that provide extra insulation and keep the bottom of the bag off the ground.

Colorado’s big-game rifle seasons start Oct. 15 and continue through Nov. 20. Colorado Parks and Wildlife urges hunters to be careful in the field.

Hunters should always be prepared to spend the night outside in case bad weather moves in or they become lost. 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.

Emergency-room doctors also report other health and injury issues during the hunting seasons.

It’s best to be in good shape before hunting in Colorado. Those coming from lower altitudes should also 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. Hunters need to evaluate their health before they venture to high altitude to engage in strenuous activity.

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. Knives and saws must be sharp and they must be handled deliberately and carefully, especially in difficult conditions in the forest, such as on a mountainside, in low-light or if you’re wearing gloves. Hunters who are not familiar with field-dressing can view videos to learn how. A video is available on CPW’s 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 always urged to be extra careful while handling their rifles. CPW reminds hunters that 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.

Colorado’s big-game rifle seasons start Oct. 15 and continue through Nov. 20.


CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 42 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW’s work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.

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Mia Anstine is an outdoor writer, licensed outfitter, hunting guide, life coach, keynote speaker, and range safety officer, firearms instructor, and archery instructor. She is the founder of MAC Outdoors and Host of the MAC Outdoors Podcast. 

Mia Anstine strives to encourage others to get outside, hunt, fish, shoot, and survive life with others in a positive way.

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Mia Anstine
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