A fall or stumble while hunting with a firearm can lead to severe injury or even death. To minimize the likelihood of a fall or stumble, follow these guidelines:
- Never jump or run while carrying a loaded firearm.
- Always unload your firearm when on poor footing such as loose rock, steep hillsides, or when crossing obstacles such as fences, streams, or ditches.
- Do not try to cross a stream by walking on a fallen log! Find another place to cross or wade if possible.
- Wear proper footgear! Deep treaded lace-up hunting boots provide good traction and ankle support.
- If you do stumble or fall, make every effort to control the firearm and maintain muzzle control so that it is pointing away from you and your hunting companions. After a fall, point the firearm in a safe direction, open the action, unload the firearm, and check for any barrel obstructions. Even a tiny amount of mud, snow, or other debris can be extremely dangerous. Placing one layer of adhesive tape over the muzzle keeps snow and dirt out.