Sun Safety Advice for Hunters & Fishermen

A portrait of a smiling older gentleman with graying hair, wearing a business suit and tie.

I have been a fisherman for 70 years and a hunter for nearly as long. I’d like to be able to say that I have been sun safe for all of that time, but like everyone else in the 1950’s, I didn’t give it much thought during those years. However, I think in 40 years of living the outdoor life as a dermatologist, I have things figured out. The picture illustrates most of what I tell patients to do. I have my buff pulled down for the trophy bonefish shot, but my brother-in-law (also an MD) is wearing his the proper way. The buff also comes in camouflage for hunting wildlife such as turkey, ducks, deer, and elk.


  1. Always wear a hat. We use long-billed hats for fishing so we don’t need to use sunblock on the forehead. No matter what brand you use, it has a way of sneaking into the eyes.
  2. The Buff, super lightweight neck gaiter, can be pulled up over the ears and even the nose.  
  3. Sun protecting gloves.
  4. Lightweight long sleeve shirt and pants.
  5. I use the highest SPF sunscreen I can find. Remember, you are trying to catch a fish, not get a tan. Look at the skin on the face of a fishing guide sometime and count the wrinkles! I like the #70 spray for feet (sandals), forearms and nape of neck.
  6. Polarized Sunglasses. Protect your eyes from the sun, hooks, and shotgun pellets. You can’t see the fish in the water without them.
  7. As I always tell patients, even ones who have had skin cancer, get outdoors and enjoy yourself – go golfing, fishing, walking – but be smart about it.

-Dr. Bayrd


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