Safety

Alabama’s public lands are worth protecting. And so are you. When you visit any of our state’s Forever Wild land sites, we encourage you to take some common-sense steps to stay safe, whether you’re hunting, hiking, boating, camping, or enjoying some other outdoor activity.

Hunter Safety
Hiking Safety
Camping Safety
Biking Safety
Boating/Canoeing Safety
 

Hunter Safety
Alabama is one of 49 states with a mandatory Hunter Education Program. The goal of the Hunter Education Program is to make Alabama hunters safe, responsible, and more knowledgeable about wildlife conservation. More information on the Alabama Hunter Education Program.

We recommend that all hunters adhere to these fundamental safety rules:

  • Wear a blaze orange cap or vest
  • Keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction at all times
  • Treat every firearm with the respect due a loaded gun
  • Be sure of your target and what is in front of it and beyond it
  • Keep your finger outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot
  • Use a small flashlight during dim light conditions to identify yourself as a human being

To avoid injuries when using tree stands or other elevated platforms, hunters should:

  • Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions prior to use
  • Inspect your stand and tree prior to each use.
  • Always wear a fall restraint device when climbing, sitting, or descending from an elevated position.
  • Always pull your gun or bow up with a pull-up rope; firearms should be unloaded, action open, and safety on.

Every hunter should:

  • Respect the landowner and his property
  • Respect other hunters and non-hunters
  • Respect wildlife and its habitat
  • Follow all state laws and regulations
  • Use proper equipment for the game being hunted
  • Be proficient with hunting equipment

A hunting license is required by Alabama law for all those hunting within the state. Hunting licenses are easily obtained or replaced if lost by visiting the licensing page of this website. Purchasing a license can be done in one of three ways:

Hiking Safety
For your safety (and the protection of the environment):

  • Stay on designated trails
  • Never approach wild animals
  • Stay aware of weather conditions and seek proper shelter in storms (do not stand under trees)
  • Keep all motorized vehicles off trails
  • Keep pets on no longer than a six-foot leash and under control at all times
  • It’s a good idea to hike with a friend

Remember, many of our tracts allow all types of hunting (even using primitive weapons or for small game), so wear some amount of hunter orange or bright-colored clothing during hunting seasons.

Camping Safety
For a safe camping experience:

  • Keep any gas, propane or fuel containers upright and in a well-ventilated area
  • Campfires should be only as big as needed, surrounded by rocks/fire ring and away from tents, trees and flammable items
  • Have a bucket of sand to extinguish fire and never leave fire unattended
  • Keep an eye on weather conditions
  • Completely dispose of trash and keep food out of the reach of wild animals
  • Have a first aid kit on hand as well as flashlights
  • Bring your own drinking water or have a purification system

Biking safety
When biking on Forever Wild lands:

  • Make sure your bike is in good working order
  • Stay on designated bike trails
  • When using shared trails, always yield to pedestrians or horses
  • Always wear a helmet
  • Ride with a friend in case of injury or mechanical problem; your friend can get help
  • When biking with a friend, ride single-file on trails

Boating/Canoeing Safety
To ensure an enjoyable and safe time on the water, canoeists and boaters should:

  • Make sure your boat is in good working order; if it’s motorized, check the engines, fluids, belts, etc., before heading out
  • Ensure all life jackets are free of rips or tears and that they strap on securely
  • Know all state boating laws
  • Alabama law requires children under eight years of age must wear a life jacket while on a boat
  • Alabama law requires a life jacket available to everyone on board a vessel
  • Alabama law requires all those towed on skis or tube, or those riding individual jet ski-type vehicles to wear a life jacket
  • Alabama law requires those boating within 800 feet blow a dam to wear a life jacket
  • Stay aware of everything around you and show consideration for others on the water
  • Never drink while operating a boat
  • Be aware of any changing weather conditions and get to the nearest safe shelter in the event of an approaching storm

For more information, visit www.outdooralabama.com/boating.