Never take for granted the fact that you are carrying a loaded weapon."
The Four Common Causes of Hunting Accidents
- Judgment Mistakes: The number one cause of hunting accidents is mistakes in judgment, such as mistaking a person for game, not checking what’s in front of or beyond your target, and getting caught up in the excitement of the hunt which can cause you to make foolish mistakes.
- Not Following Firearm Safety Rules: Another common cause of hunting related accidents is not following safe firearm practices like the four primary rules of firearm safety.
- Not Enough Practice: A huge problem that I see out in the field is hunters who don’t know their firearms capabilities. This stems from a lack of practice that can lead to things like accidental discharges and stray shots.
- Mechanical Failures: When it comes to firearms you can never let your guard down; mechanical failures can and will happen, so you must know how to deal with them when they do.
The Four Primary Rules of Firearm Safety
- 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.