Chapter 7 Summary
After reading Chapter 7, you should be comfortable with various practices and rules in order to be a safe and responsible hunter. Let's review these practices now.
- Most hunting incidents occur when a hunter does not follow the rules of firearm safety. It is your responsibility as a safe hunter to know and obey all the rules of firearm safety every time you handle a firearm.
- As a safe hunter, you should know the different types if firearm carries, and when it is safe to use them. For example, never use the trail or elbow carries when there is someone in front of you. The two-hand carry gives the best muzzle control. Remember: ALWAYS keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
- When crossing a fence or other obstacle, whether alone or with someone else, the first thing any hunter should do is unload the firearm. Leave the action open.
- When hunting with others, whether on land or on the water, be sure to properly identify the zones of fire, and keep the muzzle pointed within your zone of fire at all times, to ensure you are not pointing the muzzle at another hunter.
- In the event that you pull the trigger and the gun does not fire, keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, and wait 30 seconds before unloading the firearm.
- Always wear blaze orange clothing. This unnatural color stands out in any environment, and ensures that other hunters will see you. Know your local regulations for wearing blaze orange in a hunting area.
- When using a watercraft, always wear a coast-guard approved PFD. You should be familiar with the different types of PFDs and their characteristics. Choose the best one to meet your needs.
- Whether in a watercraft or other vehicle, firearms should always be transported unloaded, with the action open, and in a protective case.
- Tie down all equipment in your watercraft, and limit movement to avoid capsizing. If your boat does capsize, stay with it. Get your body out of the water as much as possible to delay the onset of hypothermia.
- If using an ATV to reach your hunting site, always remain on legal trails. Wear appropriate safety gear at all times, maintain a safe speed and transport all firearms unloaded and in a protective case. Above all else, obey local laws when using an ATV.