It’s that time of the year! A time when fathers and mothers pass down hunting traditions to their children, friends gather, and we turn to nature. The woods are full of anxious hunters, patiently waiting for the perfect opportunity to take a shot. Many great memories between family and friends are made during this time. So let’s be sure those memories continue to be made.
Let’s review some important safety rules:
1) Tell someone where you’re going and when you plan to return. If you move from one area to another advise someone.
2) Be familiar with the area you want to hunt. Take a GPS or compass to prevent getting lost.
3) Carry a flashlight while walking through the hunting area before or after daylight.
4) Carry a first aid kit.
5) Dress for the weather. Wear hunter orange so you can be seen. If you take a dog with you, make sure it also wears hunter orange.
6) Do not use alcohol, drugs or smoke cigarettes while handling a firearm.
7) Keep your firearm unloaded until ready to use.
8) Be sure the barrel is clear of obstructions before shooting.
9) Don’t rely on the mechanical safety. Treat your firearm as if it’s loaded and ready to fire.
10) Always keep the muzzle of your firearm pointed in a safe direction.
11) Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
12) Be sure of your target and what’s beyond it. Know the range of your firearm.
13) Understand how to recognize the different types of firearm and ammunition malfunctions and how to respond to or clear the malfunction.
14) Never cross a fence, climb a tree or stand or jump a ditch with a loaded gun. Never hoist a loaded firearm into a stand.
15) Always unload firearms before riding in any vehicle, including ATVs.
There is one more thing I want to share with you that is also very important. HAVE FUN! Enjoy your time, make new traditions, and have a wonderful holiday season!