About the Study Guide

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Example of a habitat
  • Leave the land better than you found it.
  • Adhere to fair chase rules.
  • Know your capabilities and limitations as a marksman, and stay within your effective range.
  • Strive for a quick, clean kill.
  • Ensure that meat and usable parts are not wasted.
  • Treat both game and non-game animals ethically.
  • Abide by game laws and regulations.
  • Cooperate with conservation officers.
  • Report game violations.

Approached by a Conservation Officer

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Video Transcript

A rabbit nibbles on some grass. Turner takes aim and fires.

Rob

Did you get it?

Turner

I don’t know. I don’t think so.

Rob

All right. Let’s go check it out.

Turner

OK.

A truck drives past with two Colorado Division of Wildlife Officers inside. One picks up the CB radio.

Female officer

Dispatch wildlife 221. We’re out on the North State Wildlife Area. We got a couple hunters out here we’re going to go check.

Rob

I don’t know. Looks like a clean miss, buddy.

Turner

Darn.

The female officer shouts from the distance, “Hello. Colorado Wildlife Officer. How are you guys doing today?”

Turner

Uh-oh. Did we do something wrong?

Rob

This is a situation a lot of hunters find themselves in. There are proper actions to take when approached by a conservation officer. But you’d be surprised at what careless and dangerous things people do in situations like this.

On screen: BAD BEHAVIORS

Female officer

Can I see your license?

As Rob checks his wallet, he points his firearm in the officer’s direction.

On screen: UNSAFE MUZZLE

Rob

Unintentionally pointing your muzzle at an officer or another hunter is dangerous. Carrying a gun in a menacing manner is not a good idea.

On screen: MENACING MANNER

As officers approach Rob and Turner, Rob lifts his gun and carries it behind his head.

Rob

It can convey the wrong message and can make for a negative interaction.

On screen: FINGER IN TRIGGER

Rob

Not checking the safety and keeping the finger inside the trigger guard is another dangerous idea. It’s unsafe any time you’re interacting with a person.

On screen: FLEE

Rob

Fleeing from an officer is the worst idea. If you have a reason to run from the conservation officer, you shouldn’t be hunting in the first place. As reckless and careless as some of these may seem, a lot of people can get nervous when approached by a conservation officer. And they forget the rules of safe gun handling. So let’s show you the right way.

Male officer

Guys, we’re checking some licenses today. If you could just make your firearms safe, I’d appreciate it.

On screen: ACKNOWLEDGE OFFICER

Rob

First, acknowledge the officer. Sure thing. Give us just a second.

On screen: CONTROL MUZZLE

Rob

Point your muzzle in a safe direction.

On screen: CHECK SAFETY

Rob

Recheck to make sure the safety is on, and keep your finger out of the trigger guard.

On screen: UNLOAD FIREARM

Rob

Unload your gun, and check the action to be sure it’s unloaded.

On screen: RESPECT OFFICER

Rob

And finally, follow the conservation officer’s instructions and respect their requests.

Male officer, to Turner

Can I hold that for you while you get your license out of your pocket?

Rob

They’re just doing their job to make hunting safer for everyone.

Male officer

Guys, thanks again for being so safe in handling your firearms today. You wouldn’t believe some of the things we see out here in the field. So we appreciate it. Have a good afternoon.

Rob

Thanks. So what will you do when you’re approached by a conservation officer? Well, use what you’ve learned here today. And respect the important role that they play in protecting wildlife and keeping hunting safe for all of us. All right. Let’s get back to it.