Department of Fish and Wildlife
Kentucky Afield Outdoors: First aid kits help when the unexpected happens
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Hunters and anglers take great care
to ensure they have all the equipment, gear and appropriate licenses needed for
their next outing because nobody likes reaching their destination only to
realize they forgot something.
A good checklist can help eliminate
those instances, and it’s always a good idea to include a well-stocked first
aid kit on any such list.
“Being outside and participating in
these sports raises the potential for injury,” said Bobby McKee, a conservation
educator with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources and
part-time emergency medical technician based in Butler County. “We’re dealing
with firearms and knives, fishing hooks, tree stands and all sorts of other
potential hazards. Even crossing a creek can be hazardous.”
Having a first aid kit and first aid
training provides peace of mind because it’s impossible to predict when an
injury might occur. Kits are readily available for sale online and at grocery
stores, pharmacies and sporting goods retailers. Some may choose to modify
those store-bought kits or assemble one of their own in a freezer bag, fanny
pack or small backpack to suit their situation and carrying capacity.
McKee tailors his first aid kit based
on the duration and type of activity.
“If I’m going out west and I’m going
to be hunting in the Rocky Mountains for a week, my first aid kit will have
more in it,” he said. “If I’m going to be hunting at Land Between the Lakes or
a Wildlife Management Area close to home, it won’t be as extensive.”
McKee recommends some basic items for
a first aid kit, such as:
bandages in assorted sizes
dressings in assorted sizes
Many first aid kits include an
instruction booklet, but it’s also advisable to take a course that teaches
first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The American Red Cross and
American Heart Association offer these courses online and in classroom settings
across the state. They cover first aid emergencies such as burns, cuts, head,
neck and back injuries, cold and heat emergencies, and teach how to respond to
breathing and cardiac emergencies. More information is available online at redcross.org and heart.org or by contacting your local American
Red Cross or American Heart Association office.
“Everybody needs a first aid class,”
McKee said. “Techniques change over the years. It’s always good to get the
updated information and start out with that as preparation for your hunting and
Good communication can be as
important as having a well-apportioned first aid kit and knowing how to use
what’s in it.
Tell others where you will be and
when you expect to return. McKee suggests writing that information on something
like a dry-erase board at home.
Carry your cell phone or other
“If you’re hunting with a child, they
know how to use your cell phone better than you do,” McKee said. “You need to
make sure that child knows where you’re hunting - write down the address and
stick it in their pocket - if they need to call 9-1-1 because you’ve been
A whistle can be an effective tool
that helps rescuers pinpoint your location.
“I carry a little plastic referee’s
whistle every time I go hunting,” McKee said. “If I’m unable to yell, it would
alert a search party from a long distance.”
With the fall fishing and hunting
seasons in full swing, consider adding first aid training and first aid kits to
your to-do list before leaving for your next adventure.