Hunting season is underway, and both beginners and old pros are gearing up for adventure. We have all heard the basic hunter safety lessons thousands of times and unfortunately, over time, we can become complacent. Hunting can be dangerous, and experts warn that there is such a thing as getting too comfortable with firearms. When this happens, the chances of an accident can drastically increase. Safety should always come first, and with that in mind we want to remind hunters about some crucial safety tips to anyone planning to go hunting this season:
1. Every time you see a gun, pick one up or point it, assume that it’s loaded and treat it accordingly.
2. Make sure your safety is always on and that the barrel is pointing down when you are walking or transporting your gun. When hunting with dogs, be sure the muzzle is level with the ground at the very least and preferably angled up in the air.
3. Never shoot at a sound or movement. Be absolutely sure that you’re shooting at an animal and that no people are anywhere near your target.
4. Wear at least the required amount of orange so you don’t become another hunter’s target.
5. Make sure all animals are dead before strapping them onto your vehicle.
6. Wait until your kids are old enough to understand and follow rules before bringing them hunting.
7. Never climb a tree or over a fence with a loaded gun.
8. Keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot.
9. Save those beers until the end of the day, it’s just plain common sense.
10. Look well beyond your target before you shoot. High-powered ammunition can travel up to three miles and still be deadly.
11. Hunt with a trusted buddy. If you’re alone, make sure that someone knows where you will be and when to expect you back. If you’re hunting with an unsafe shooter, you don’t need an excuse to leave.
12. If using a tree stand to hunt, don’t forget to wear a safety belt.
13. Be sure all your equipment is working properly and you know how to operate it before hunting.
14. Store and transport ammunition separately from guns. Keep everything under lock and key when it’s not in use.
15. It doesn’t take much effort to elevate your heart rate into the danger zone. Make sure you exercise regularly for better fitness on your hunt.
Have fun, enjoy the great outdoors and always keep in mind that accidents can happen in a blink of an eye, even with the most experienced hunters. Safety always comes first. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!!