HCMC reminds hunters to safely enjoy the great outdoors

Thousands of Minnesotans are heading to the woods for the firearms deer hunting opener this weekend. While hunters watch for that elusive 18-point buck, Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) wants to remind them to  keep their sights on safety – and enjoy the great outdoors. Simple precautions and common sense go a long way in helping to avoid injuries.

“So many injuries occur over the deer hunting weekends,” explains HCMC Burn Center surgeon and avid deer hunter Dr. Ryan Fey. “Whether it’s a fall from a deer stand or a burn from a campfire, an injury can put you in the hospital – and put a quick end to the good memories. You’ll always remember the time you got hurt because of a preventable incident.” 

The most common deer hunting injuries are falls from deer stands and cuts from knives when field dressing the animal. Injuries from firearms can also occur; however, they are not as common.

HCMC has a new web site with great safety tips for outdoor sportsmen and women of all ages at hcmc.org/outdoors In addition to information about being safe while using a deer stand, the site features safety tips about outdoor fires, outdoor cooking, frostbite, hypothermia, fireworks and carbon monoxide poisoning.

HCMC treats thousands of patients each year for injuries sustained from campfires, snowmobiles, ATV’s, motorcycles, falls and other outdoor activities.   

“There are many things that can go wrong, and thankfully most hunting trips are injury-free. Even dragging a deer through the woods can trigger a back injury or a heart attack,” says Dr. Fey. “That’s why being prepared for an emergency and adhering to safety measures is all part of a successful hunt.” 

Hunters can find safety information on hcmc.org/outdoors — a great place to go before heading to the woods this weekend.

HCMC is a nationally recognized Level 1 Adult Trauma Center and Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center with the largest emergency department in Minnesota. The comprehensive academic medical center and public teaching hospital includes a 477-bed acute care hospital and primary care and specialty clinics. For the 15th year in a row, HCMC is listed in the U.S. News & World Report rankings of the top U.S. Hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” report.