What You Learned
Responsible hunters practice safe habits until they become second nature. This includes these primary safety rules.
- Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
- Always 100% positively identify your target and what is beyond it before firing.
- Always keep your safety on until you are ready to shoot.
- Always keep your finger outside the trigger guard until you are ready to shoot.
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. The common causes of hunting incidents are hunter judgment mistakes, safety rule violations, lack of control and practice, and mechanical failure.
Avoid consuming alcohol or drugs before or during the hunt. It increases the risk of incidents.
When loading or unloading a firearm, always point the muzzle in a safe direction and put your safety in the on position.
Six proper field carries hunters can use are sling carry, trail carry, two-handed or “ready” carry, shoulder carry, cradle carry, and elbow or side carry.
Carry selection is based primarily on keeping the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. When walking with others, be sure all hunters keep their guns pointing away from their companions.
Always unload firearms before crossing fences or other obstacles or before negotiating rough terrain. If crossing a fence alone, place the firearm under the fence; cross; and pull the firearm toward you, keeping the muzzle pointed away from you. If crossing with a partner, one person gives the other person both firearms, crosses first, and then receives the unloaded firearms from the other hunter.
Always check that your barrel is clear of any obstruction, no matter how small. Clear any obstructions immediately.