With a chill in the predawn air and the crunch of frosted leaves underfoot, there’s nothing quite like hunting in the fall. It’s a popular pastime for many, with more than 140 million hunting trips taken each year by some 12 million recreational hunters.

Yet because there are so many enjoying the great outdoors this fall, it’s important to take a moment to think about safety. Whether you’re hunting deer, pheasants, turkey or waterfowl, follow these fall hunting safety tips  to protect yourself and others.

Fall Hunting Safety Tips

1. Obtain Your Permit/License

No matter where or what you’re hunting, you’ll need to obtain a permit or license. Many states allow you to purchase one online. If not, head to your local hardware store, sporting goods store or parks and recreation office.

2. Follow Firearm Safety Rules

Always treat every firearm as if it were loaded. Control the muzzle at all times. Take your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot. Identify your target clearly and know what lays beyond it.

3. Plan for Fall Weather

Before you head out, check the weather. Hunters can risk hypothermia in the fall, due to the cool and wet conditions. Dress in warm layers of moisture-wicking and water repellant fabrics.

4. Wear Your Blaze Orange

During your hunt, wear a blaze orange coat, vest or hat to stay visible to other hunters, should you cross paths. If you bring a dog, make sure it’s also wearing bright colors.

5. Bring Your GPS Device

Even if you have hunted in the same spot for years, there is always a chance you’ll get turned around. Pack a handheld GPS, just to be safe and let a friend or relative know where you’re going and when you’ll return.

6. Bring Along a Flashlight

Like having a GPS device, it’s smart to have a flashlight or headlamp just in case. Sometimes you’re out longer than anticipated or Mother Nature takes you by surprise.

7. Pack Water and Snacks

No matter how long your hunt is, it’s always a good idea to pack extra water and snacks. Keep yourself hydrated and energized with easily transportable, nutrient-dense foods like jerky, nuts or trail mix.

8. Add Insurance Protection

Like any firearms activity, hunting carries some risk. Consider adding Firearm Insurance to protect your firearms from damage and get Personal Firearm Liability Insurance to protect against hunting accident liability.

Follow these fall hunting safety tips to stay safe. Good luck this hunting season!