Bow hunter&8217;s safety course stresses the importance of caution

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 17, 2006

FERRIDAY &8212; Hundreds, and possibly thousands of Miss-Lou residents flock to the woods every fall for the start of the fall hunting seasons. Hunting is one of our favorite pastimes in this area, and something that can be enjoyed by both young and old.

Sadly enough, a number of hunters each year are beset by an accident while in the fields or woods, and unfortunately a number of those accidents are fatal. Sadder still is the fact that most of these accidents are the fault of the person injured, and could almost always be avoided if the parties involved had adhered to a few basic rules of hunter safety.

Homer Hewitt of Hewitt&8217;s Archery and Pro Shop would like to see fewer of those accidents happen, and is doing his part by hosting the International Bow Hunter Education program every other Saturday at his shop in Ferriday.

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&8220;This is my way of giving back to the sport of archery, which has given so much enjoyment to me during my life,&8221; Hewitt said. &8220;I get to help new hunters learn not to make some of the same mistakes I made.&8221;

With bow season officially less than a month away, now is the time Hewitt suggests that hunters brush up on the laws and practices necessary to safely and ethically enjoy the season.

Hewitt knows the dangers involved in bow hunting, as he has been involved in the sport for over 40 years, and has personally experienced a common accident &8212; falling out of a tree stand.

&8220;It was completely my fault. There were things I could have done to avoid it happening,&8221; Hewitt said. Hewitt said that he polls his classes to see how many others have experienced a similar accident and usually there are one or two in every class that have experienced a fall.

Hewitt said that recent technological developments in harnesses and tree stand safety equipment, have taken much of the danger out of bow hunting and eliminated the excuses for having an accident.

&8220;Archery is in the same category as badminton in terms of danger,&8221; Hewitt said. &8220;The biggest danger is falling out of a tree stand, and with the harnesses and safety equipment it&8217;s even safer.&8221;

Hewitt has been teaching the course for the last 12 years and says that his classes have grown each year as the popularity of bow hunting increases each new season.

Saturday was the fifth class Hewitt has taught this year. Most of the classes range in size from 10 to 15 participants. Saturday, Sept. 16, will be Hewitt&8217;s final class of the year.

The class covers a myriad of bow hunting topics, and Hewitt claims that no matter how experienced a hunter you are, there is almost assuredly something covered in the class that applies to you.

To obtain more information on the International Bow Hunter Education Program or to participate in a class, contact Hewitt&8217;s Archery and Pro Shop at 318-757-3319.