Colorado Parks and Wildlife encourages hunters to be safe and especially careful during the Covid-19 epidemic. Though recreating outdoors is relatively safe, COVID-19 precautions still are necessary, especially when a hunting trip involves close contact with non-household members.
So far this year, two Covid-19 outbreaks were reported at hunting camps in remote areas. Please stay home if you are sick, if you’re isolating or if you have been exposed to Covid-19.
“Even when folks are outside they must be careful. Know who you’re hunting with and be careful when you come in contact with others in towns or in the field,” said Cory Chick, CPW’s Southwest Region manager.
CPW and state health authorities offer these tips for safety while hunting:
- It’s best to hunt with people you live with, but if you are hunting with people outside your household make sure you are comfortable with routine precautions your hunting partners take to protect themselves against COVID-19.
- Keep groups small — the smaller, the better.
- Many people who have COVID-19 don’t have symptoms, but before you travel be sure to know the symptoms of Covid-19: Cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea.
- Stay outdoors as much as possible.
- Always wear masks when indoors with non-household members; wear masks outdoors when you cannot stay six feet apart. Masks should fully cover your nose and mouth.
- Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol.
- Please, expect and respect local regulations that vary from county to county. Check the county’s local public health agency website before you travel.
- If you get sick while you’re in the field, inform your hunting partners and return home, get tested and seek medical attention.
- If you are having a medical emergency, call 911 or seek emergency care as soon as possible.
- Make sure someone in your family knows where you’ll be hunting.
- Remember that cell phone service is not available in most remote hunting locations.
Hunters are also reminded to “leave no trace” on the landscape. Leave your camps cleaner than how you found them and pack out all trash.
For more information, please the website of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Thanks and have a safe and enjoyable hunting season!
Joe Lewandowski is the public information officer for CPW’s Southwest Region. Joe is based in Durango.