While we all get fired up to go on our hunts (no pun intended), there is a little more to hunting than we usually think. Think about it, we are dealing with bows, rifles, shotguns, knives, and tons of other potentially very dangerous equipment on our person. So we want you to knowwe always want to make gun safety our first priority and you need to also. Think about in these 4 gun safety rules that could save your life or your hunting partners. Let’s let these soak in for a few minutes.
4 gun safety rules:
Rule 1: The gun is always loaded, even if it isn’t
First of all, let’s talk about habits. We want to establish good habits in any endeavor in our lives. This is super important in hunting. If you are a new hunter, take this time to really make sure you learn gun safety before you go out there and start shooting, there is nothing worse to an experienced hunter than a newbie swinging his gun in every direction putting everybody in harm’s way. If you have been around guns for a while, refresh your memory with gun safety and take the time to teach the importance of it to anyone you can. You can never be too safe with guns. When we are dealing with tools that can kill, we need to understand that it is of the utmost importance that we as hunters use caution.
What is one of the first and most important rules? Always, and I mean ALWAYS, point the gun away from human beings, dogs, or anything that you do not want to pull the trigger at. Just keeping the safety on isn’t enough. Have you heard stories on the news of people shooting themselves with their guns in the pockets, or close to their bodies? Well we have, and it goes to show you that the safety valve just doesn’t suffice. We need to be conscious of where our guns are pointed. At all times.
The first step to enforce this rule is to always check the weapon when you pick it up. Does it have the potential to kill something? This is basically the question you ask when you check if a gun is loaded each time you pick it up.
Next we always point up and away from ourselves. If you show a friend, check to see if the gun is loaded then always have the barrel pointed away from you. Other than this, or home intrusion, I can’t think of any other reason to take out your gun indoors, can you? Didn’t think so!
Rule 2: Know thy weapon
So you want to handle a hunting rifle eh? How about a shotgun to take out some turkeys with your newly bought shotgun? Well you better know how to handle these guns, because they can very well damage or even end someone’s life. Knowing the weapon you are handling in and out can help you do understand it better, and prevent malfunction, because we don’t want our guns to be going off unexpectedly.
First, know how to put together and take apart your rifle, or any gun that you are operating. We need to know what part goes where and what part it plays in the mechanics of the gun… Yes, this seems like a lot, but knowing your gun this intimately can go a long way in securing your safety. It will also give us expertise and confidence as hunters.
Second, know how powerful your rifle is. If we don’t know the range of the weapon, how can we make sure that we won’t hit anything behind our targets? The last thing we want to do it be shooting at somebody or something valuable without knowing it. Guns like shotguns should especially be given care to how they shoot. That spray your shotgun provides can be a dangerous thing if neglected. The bottom line is that you need to know what kind of gun you are handling and the right way to handle it.
Rule 3: Know what is behind your target
It’s pretty much a no brainer that you shouldn’t point your weapon at anything other than a target, or what you want to kill, right? Well that isn’t the only way injuries and casualties go down. Yes that’s right, some bullets can deflect and hit something you didn’t intend to strike. Or the bullet could go straight through the animal and hit whatever is behind it as well. With a shotgun you have to be very aware of what is around when you shoot, as the BB’s will only spread more the further you are.
In the wild, we never know what type of shot we will have to make, but if you don’t know exactly what’s behind or near your target just don’t take the shot. Losing an animal because you didn’t take the shot is not the worst that can happen, hitting something or somebody because you could see is the worst that can happen. So please be very careful what we shoot at, and don’t take unknown risks, there will be more animals to hunt as long as you are safe.
Rule 4: Finger off the trigger unless you want to kill something
No matter what, we want to keep that finger off of the trigger when we are just taking it easy. Some beginning hunters love that feeling of the first hunt. They head out into the wild awaiting their prey to appear from behind a tree, or around the corner behind a ridge. So what do they do? They constantly have their finger on the trigger awaiting that one moment. They are trigger happy without even knowing it, a recipe for disaster!
So what to do if we have this bad habit? Well one thing you can do is to train your mind. Start giving your brain feedback to leave your finger off the trigger. Feedback means have a signal for where you should put your finger when grasping your gun. For example, maybe you’ll want to but a soft piece of tape on the side of your gun near the trigger where you will want your finger to rest. After a few weeks of doing this, your mind will be trained to always have your finger resting on that tape, and you won’t have to think about where you should rest your finger again. Safety is very important and its little things like these that can potentially save lives.
Make safety your priority
Safety should be very important to everyone involved in hunting, and at no time should we neglect safety rules and regulations when handling firearms. There have been too many hunting casualties in the past, and it can happen to any of us hunters. Make sure you minimize this risk by following these 4 gun safety rules to start with. Learn more on safe bow hunting as well! We’d love to hear some more great rules that you have learned and any other tips for staying safe.