Minnesota Adult Hunter Safety Course


Chapter 4 Summary

Firearm safety rules and practices are the most important component to take away from this course. If you obey all the rules and safe practices you learned in this chapter, you will greatly reduce your chances of being involved in a firearm or hunting incident.

  • In Minnesota, most firearm incidents occur in the home. Incidents in the field are less common, but still occur, often causing serious injury or death. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the most common causes of firearm incidents in Minnesota, so that you don't make the same mistakes.
  • Many firearm incidents occur when the person assumes the firearm he or she is handling is unloaded. For this reason, treat every firearm as if it were loaded at all times.
  • Always keep the muzzle of your firearm pointed in a safe direction, even if the firearm is unloaded, the action is open, or the firearm is in a protective case.
  • Properly identifying your target is extremely important in hunting, and also properly identifying what is beyond your target, to ensure that the shot is safe. Never take a shot if you are unsure of where the bullet might end up.
  • There are many instances in the field when it is crucial to unload your firearm to avoid a dangerous situation. Be sure you know the proper procedures for unloading all types of firearm, and familiarize yourself with any scenario when you are required to unload your firearm (for example, any time you meet another person while out on a hunt).
  • A safe zone of fire is a designated zone where you are permitted to point your firearm and fire at game. This technique is used when you are hunting with other people. Never swing out of your zone of fire, since you could potentially be pointing the muzzle at another hunter.
  • There are six common firearm carries used by hunters in the field. Practice using these carries, and think about when it is appropriate to use them. The two-hand (ready) carry provides the best control of the firearm. The trail and shoulder carries should never be used if there is someone in front of you. Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction!
  • If you pull the trigger and the firearm does not discharge, don't panic and don't try to check the firearm. Instead, keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction (down range) for at least 30 seconds before carefully unloading the firearm.