Fall is just around the corner, and for hunters, this marks the beginning of big game hunting season in most states. In addition to all of the hunting gear you will need, you will need the knowledge to make your hunting trip a safe one. Your safety, the safety of those around you and proper gun and bow usage are all factors to consider. Whether you are quail hunting or bowhunting for big game, safety is always the top priority.
According to recreation.gov, one of the single biggest ways to reduce the risk of hunting accidents is to undergo certification. Though this is not a requirement in most states, it is highly recommended. Every state has different requirements. Minnesota residents are actually required to pass a hunting education course, unless they have previously had a hunting license. This course contains information on how to safely operate, clean and maintain a firearm.
Another way to avoid hunting accidents is to follow the four basic rules of proper gun use. The first of these is to assume that every gun you handle is loaded. Even experienced hunters can make mistakes. This is one of the easiest and most serious mistakes to make. Debris can get lodged in the barrel, so no matter how sure you are never point a firearm at anything you do not intend to fire at. This is the second rule of firearm safety. Thirdly, you should always keep your hands off of the trigger and trigger guard unless you are prepared to fire. And, finally, you need to be completely aware of what you are firing at, including what is beyond your target.
One of the biggest causes of hunting accidents, even for experienced hunters, are mechanical failures, which can happen no matter how well you know your firearms. According to Robert Richardson of Off the Grid Survival, mechanical failures are inevitable, but you need to at least know how to handle them. Knowing the gun parts, gunsmith tools, and other hunting gear you are working with is one of the best ways to keep yourself and those around you safe from harm.
Finally, though the mechanics behind it are different, bowhunting has the potential to be just as dangerous as hunting with a firearm if you are not smart and careful. From your bow case to your bow, you need to know the equipment you are utilizing. Just like a firearm, you should never aim a bow until you are certain of your target. Arrows can travel up to 200 hundred miles per hour, when fired from a compound bow. Hunting is one of the most rewarding American pastimes, but you need to always practice safety and respect for the hunting equipment and those around you.