Oregon Hunter Safety Course


Chapter Summary

Being a safe hunter is about more than just obeying the rules of firearm safety. You should employ safe hunting practices in any type of hunting that you participate in.

Blaze Orange
  • 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 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.
  • Using hunting dogs is quite effective when hunting small game or waterfowl. Never keep a hunting dog on a tether or leash when hunting. Treat the dog as a fellow hunter - never point the muzzle in their direction. Remember that dogs can experience heat exhaustion and hypothermia, just like humans.
  • 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.
Transport Safely
  • 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.
Turkey Hunting
  • There are special safety considerations when hunting wild turkey. Always wear blaze orange when heading to or from your hunting area, never wear red, blue, black or white clothing, and always clearly identify your target before taking a shot. Never stalk a turkey, and always sit against a tree that is at least as wide as your shoulders.