Throughout the United States, deer hunters are getting prepared for firearm season. It’s an exciting time and there’s nothing better than enjoying the Great Outdoors with your family and friends. But every year we hear stories about houses, barns and other property getting damaged…even other hunters getting shot at. But it doesn’t have to be that way. I mean…I get it. When that big buck is in your crosshairs, your adrenaline is pumping and your heart is beating a million times a minute. But you can’t get that bullet back after you pull the trigger. So when you dust off the old .30-06 this year, be sure to keep these firearm safety tips in mind and don’t be afraid to let someone know if they’re doing something unsafe. Because it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Treat your firearm with respect
Always act as if your firearm or any firearm you encounter is loaded. When you’re handing a firearm, always check to see if it’s unloaded. Even if you cleaned the gun yesterday and know with 100% certainty that it’s unloaded. Still check. Know how your firearm works and always keep it unloaded until you’re ready to shoot.
“Hey, watch where you’re pointing that thing!” You’ve probably heard it a million times, but always be aware of where you’re pointing your firearm. Never aim or point at anything you don’t intend to shoot.
Know the area you’re hunting
Always know where members of your party are hunting. If you’re hunting private land that attaches to other private property, it’s a good idea to know where your neighbors are hunting too. There’s nothing scarier than hearing bullet whiz by your tree stand. And that’s the last thing any hunter wants or needs. It’s also a good idea to be aware of houses, barns, and other outbuildings. Remember that your bullet can ricochet if you miss your intended target.
Don’t put your finger on that trigger…unless you’re ready to shoot
If you’re not intending to fire your rifle, don’t have your finger on the trigger or even near it. Always ensure your safety is on until ready to shoot. We’ve all tripped walking through the woods to our tree stand before. It happens. Don’t let a simple fall turn into a major accident.
Never handle firearms under the influence
It seems like a no brainer but it happens. Alcohol, prescription drugs, and other mind-alterting substances can and will impair your mental state, judgement, and even physical body functions. Do not hunt or handle any firearm while under the influence of any substance that will impair your ability to think clearly and use correct judgement. Save the beers until after the hunt.