Hunter's safety and health is priority

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Safety is the number one priority for hunters and hunting lodge owners this this time of year.

There are some things hunters can do before heading out to the field as an extra safety measure.

The Owners of Half Crooked Lodge in Mina spend countless hours focusing on the safety of hunters. They hold safety meetings, and make sure they have first aid kits prepared.

"We spend probably 15 minutes just prior to the hunt. We had an incident quite a few years ago where a guy shot into a tree belt, I watched it happen, he shot like face high," the Owner of Half Cocked Lodge Dave Usselman said.

They focus on everything from weapon safety to hunters health.

"We like all other outfitters won't tolerate unsafe acts. We cater to our people, if you're young and vibrant we'll work the heck out of you so you get a good workout, and if you're old we'll see to it that it's an easy day for you," Usselman said.

Doctor Stegar at Avera St. Lukes in Aberdeen says it's important to make sure you get a current physical, and know your limits before heading out to the fields.

"Make sure that you clear it with a Doctor to make sure that you are in good enough physical shape to do the activities that you plan to do," said Brandon Stegar, a Family Physician with Avera St. Luke's in Aberdeen.

Doctor Stegar says even hunting lodges should stay prepared.

"You absolutely have to have some sort of first aid kit, and have an AED on premises in case their is a need for it," Stegar said.

Even though Usselman can't force the hunters at Half Cocked Lodge to visit a Doctor before going out, they stay as ready as possible, just in case anything happens.

"One of the things that we do want to do is get an AED to at least have on the bus so it would be with us most of the time, or have one at the lodge also," Usselman said.

Doctor Stegar also said that hunters should not leave their cell phones back at the lodge while out in the field.