About the Study Guide

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From a law enforcement perspective, a hunting incident occurs when a hunter directly or indirectly causes personal injury or death while using a firearm or archery equipment. In this case, injury is defined as having occurred if the victim(s) seeks professional care. Bleeding is not required. Common causes of hunting incidents are:

  • Hunter Judgment Mistakes: Shooting another person by mistaking color, movement, or shapes for game; not ensuring that what is seen is a proper and legal animal; not checking the foreground or background before firing; or mistaking stationary decoys for live game
  • Safety Rule Violations: Including pointing the muzzle in an unsafe direction; ignoring proper procedures for crossing a fence, obstacle, or difficult terrain; shooting at targets without a proper backstop
  • Lack of Control and Practice: Leading to accidental discharges, shooting out of your zone-of-fire, shooting a rifle at running game, dropping a firearm, failing to secure a firearm in a vehicle or tree stand, taking stray shots, etc.
  • Mechanical Failure: Including a safety not preventing discharge; a barrel obstruction; improper ammunition; improper modifications to triggers, sears, etc. of firearms; or a worn quiver
Hunter aiming at unsafe target
Be sure of the target and what is in front of it and beyond it. If you cannot see what lies beyond the target, this is considered a skyline shot. Do not take skyline shots.