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10 Tips For Safe Hunting

Updated on September 17, 2016
LJ Bonham profile image

LJ Bonham is an author, historian, hunter, and firearms enthusiast who lives in the Rocky Mountains.

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One

Always treat a firearm as loaded. Never point it at anything you do not want to destroy. This includes not using your rifle scope to scan your surroundings – use binoculars or a spotting scope.

Two

Always positively identify your intended target. This is particularly important in low light such as dawn or dusk, heavy cloud cover, fog, snow, or rain. A common mistake is thinking you see antlers when an animal has its head down in thick brush.

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Three

Always know what’s behind your intended target. Rifle bullets often completely penetrate a game animal and can do significant damage to anything on the other side, even hundreds of yards away.

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Four

Always know where other hunters are. Even if your state does not require blaze orange outer garments during rifle season, you, and those you hunt with, should wear them – especially in thick brush or forest areas.

Five

Never consume alcohol or drugs before, or during, hunting. Hunting while under the influence is illegal and very dangerous.

Six

Never shoot at an animal silhouetted on a ridge. You cannot see what is on the other side of a ridge, which violates rule #3. A wounded animal will often flee down a ridge’s opposite side – away from you – and will be very difficult, or impossible, to track. It is your responsibility to recover any animal you shoot.

Hunter in a Tree Stand
Hunter in a Tree Stand | Source

Seven

Always wear a safety harness when hunting from a tree stand. Numerous hunters are severely injured or killed each year falling from tree stands – protect yourself at all times.

Eight

Never use a gun that you have not personally test fired and are familiar with. Fully inspect, test fire, and zero any “loner” guns a friend or outfitter may give you for a hunt. If the gun is a type you’ve never used before (semi-auto, for instance) get instruction from someone who is familiar with it, and spend a few hours on the firing range to make sure you are fully competent.

Nine

Always tell someone where you are going to hunt, how long you expect to be gone, and what to do if you are overdue. Do not deviate from your original plan without telling that other person about the change.

A fire starting kit is essential survival equipment
A fire starting kit is essential survival equipment | Source

Ten

Always have basic survival equipment on your person such as fire starters, water proof clothes, compass, signal mirror, water purification, cell phone, etc., and know how to use it. This includes basic first aid skills and supplies.

© 2016 LJ Bonham

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    • Readmikenow profile image

      Readmikenow 11 months ago

      Excellent article. I have almost been accidently twice. Both times were by people who weren't following the rules. People need to read your article and also be certain they have a clear line of fire.