Closed portrait of a man with water dropsSome people think that hunting is only a fall, spring and winter activity… but those people are wrong. After all, the summer has loads of (albeit somewhat obscure) hunting available. If you’re game, you can hunt squirrels, prairie dogs, coyotes, wild hogs, woodchucks and even Nilgai antelope this time of year.

Regardless of what you’re hunting in the summer heat, you MUST remember to stay hydrated and avoid heat exhaustion. It can happen before you know it and the results aren’t pretty.

According to health experts, there are two different types of heat exhaustion:

1) Water depletion: signs that you are suffering from this kind of heat exhaustion include excessive thirst, weakness, headache, and loss of consciousness.
2) Salt depletion: signs that you are suffering from this kind of heat include nausea and vomiting, muscle cramps and dizziness.

No matter which is the culprit of you heat exhaustion, both types can easily progress to heat stroke, which can severely damage your brain and other organs and even cause death.

Here’s what the Mayo Clinic says to watch for while you’re out hunting on hot days:

• Cool, moist skin with goose bumps when in the heat
• Heavy sweating
• Faintness
• Dizziness
• Fatigue
• Weak, rapid pulse
• Low blood pressure upon standing
• Muscle cramps
• Nausea
• Headache

If you find yourself in this scenario and cannot immediately get to a doctor, stop all activity and rest, move to a cooler place and drink cool water and/or sports drinks. Summer hunting is great, just make sure to protect yourself while you’re out there.