You should now have a good understanding of the necessary safety steps required in order to be a safe and responsible firearm hunter. Let's take a moment to review the important steps in this chapter.
- 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.
- You should know the different types of firearm safeties and how to use them properly. In most cases, red means fire. If you see red on the safety mechanism, it means the safety is disengaged and the firearm is ready to shoot.
- Always engage the firearm's safety as soon as the firearm is loaded, and leave the safety engaged until you have properly identified your target and are ready to fire
- A firearm's safety is a mechanical device and consequently subject to failure. Using the mechanical safety is no substitute for obeying all the rules of safe firearm handling.
- 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 shoulder, 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.
Zones of Fire
- 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.
Wait 30 Seconds
- 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.
- It is your responsibility to ensure that the firearm you are using is in good working order
- Your firearm should be cleaned regularly to help ensure shot accuracy
Point the Muzzle in a Safe Direction
- When cleaning a firearm, ALWAYS ensure the muzzle is pointed in a safe direction, and make sure the firearm is unloaded.
- Always remove live ammunition from the work area before you start to clean your firearm.
Eye Protection Gear
- Always wear hand and eye protection when cleaning your firearm
Clean From the Breech End
- If possible, always clean the firearm from the breech end.
Lightly Oiled Rag
- To clean the outside surface of the firearm, wipe it down with a lightly oiled rag
- If your firearm is damaged, always take it to a qualified gunsmith for repair.
- When storing firearms at home, always store firearms and ammunition separately and securely. Obey local regulations on proper storage of firearms.