The Four Primary Rules of Firearm Safety While Hunting are:
- Always keep your muzzle pointed in a Safe Direction: The muzzle of your firearm should never be pointed towards anything that you don’t intend on shooting. Practicing safe muzzle control is one of the most important things that you can do out in the field, and should be something that’s second nature long before you ever head out into the field.
- There is no such thing as an Unloaded Weapon: Every firearm should be treated as a loaded weapon, therefore they should always be given the respect due a loaded weapon. When being handed a firearm in the field, always assume the gun is loaded, even if someone tells you it’s unloaded.
- Make Sure You Know What’s in Front of & Beyond the Target: When taking a shot, you must always be sure of what’s in front of and what’s beyond your target. If you cannot see what lies beyond your target, NEVER TAKE THE SHOT.
- Keep Your Finger OFF the Trigger: When carrying any firearm, your finger should never be inside the trigger guard unless you’re ready to shoot. This is a huge problem that I see time and time again with inexperienced shooters, and it’s something should be mastered before ever going on a hunt.
Following Safe Shooting Practices
Hunting blind Safe Zone-of-Fire: One of the most important aspects of safely firing your gun while out on a hunt is to never fire your gun outside of your Zone-of-Fire.Your Zone-of-Fire is the 45 degree area directly in front of each hunter. The reason we stay inside that 45 degree area, is that anything outside that area cannot be seen with reliability, and should be considered outside your field of view. Also, keep in mind your Zone-of-Fire will change with every step that you take, so make sure you’re always aware of your hunting partners locations at all times.
Practice & Accuracy: Shooting accurately is not only the key to being a successful hunter; it’s also one of the most important aspects to being a safe hunter. If you cannot routinely hit your targets while out at the range, you have no business hunting anything. You are putting yourself and everyone in the field at risk.
Target Identification: If you’re not 100% sure of what you are shooting at, DO NOT TAKE THE SHOT. Anything you shoot at needs to be identified, and needs to be 100% in your field of view before ever taking a shot.