There are many instances in the field when you will be tempted to take the shot. If you find yourself in any of the following situations, DO NOT shoot.
- You see an animal you can’t identify.
- You hear a sound or catch a movement out of the corner of your eye.
- Your target is “sky-lined”—standing at or moving over the top of a hill.
- If you miss your target, the trajectory and angle of travel of your bullet or shot might injure others including animals.
- Your target is clearly out of range.
- There are objects in the foreground in your line of fire that could deflect your bullet and cause it to travel in unsafe directions. Shooting at hard surfaces such as frozen ground or water may cause the bullet to ricochet.
Never shoot at a flock of animals. Pick out a single bird or animal when shooting. Flock shooting increases the chances of injury rather than a clean kill.
See and Be Seen!
Wearing hunter, or “blaze,” orange clothing makes it much easier for other hunters to see you and therefore much less likely that they will mistake you for a target!
In Montana, the law requires that all big game hunters and anyone accompanying a hunter must have at least 400 square inches of hunter orange material above the waist visible at all times. That’s 20 x 20 inches, or roughly four times the size of this sheet of paper. It’s a good idea for bird hunters to wear hunter orange as well.
Never do anything that might make someone mistake you for game or that might cover up your hunter orange. For example, make sure your backpack doesn’t cover your orange, don’t carry a deer over your shoulders, and avoid wearing tan, brown, or white clothing.