Safety Sunday: Top Ten Hunting & Shooting Reminders

With over 12 million plus hunters going out every year you know there is bound to be some issues. Fortunately the issues resulting in death or injury from a firearm or bow are pretty low, but the last thing someone wants to be is that 1 in a million. Case in point is the following video to help remind us of these lessons where man’s best friend shoots man… (For the rest of the story on this, tune in to Tuesday’s Let’s Blog Off)

  • Never be complacent – it doesn’t matter if you have been around them your entire life, all it takes is that one second with the right circumstances to change a great day into…
  • Treat every weapon as if it were loaded, which means keeping it pointed in a safe direction with your finger off the trigger at all times.
  • Never point a weapon at anything you don’t intend to shoot, i.e. no playing around
  • Clearly identify your target – 99.99% sure is not good enough
  • Be aware of what not only is in front of your target, but what is behind it i.e. what & where the bullet will end up at
  • Until you are ready to start squeezing the trigger, the safety should be on (See Condition Levels below) & your finger off the trigger.
  • Before climbing fences, hiking into your area, into or out of a blind / stand, etc… you should unload your weapon (At minimum set to Condition 3)
  • Dress for err… success: While controversial, many states do require one to wear Orange while hunting. Oregon in 2010 was debating this issue has an interesting page dedicated to this subject. Hunter Orange Requirements by State, Province & Territory.
  • Don’t forget your hearing – while many worry about not hearing the game if they are wearing them, this has turned into a non-issue with a flurry of devices set to muffle loud noises while allowing or amplifying others.
  • Turkey hunts (followed up by deer hunts) are one of the most dangerous times for individuals getting mistaken as a target. So besides wearing orange, once you bag your Tom you might consider tying the wings to the body, wrap it in orange & getting out of dodge. Bonus tip, if you are bringing decoys in, you might also want to consider camouflaging your decoys in orange when moving them.

More Information and Websites:

Condition Levels:

There are many terms used to describe this, but most agree to the term; Conditions of Readiness which are attributed mainly to USMC Lt. Col. John Dean “Jeff” Cooper.

  • Condition 4: Chamber empty / no magazine inserted / hammer down / Safety ON
  • Condition 3: Chamber empty / loaded magazine / hammer down / Safety ON
  • Condition 2: Round chambered / loaded magazine / hammer down / Safety ON
  • Condition 1: Round chambered / loaded magazine / hammer COCKED / Safety ON
  • Condition 0: Round chambered / loaded magazine / hammer COCKED / Safety OFF

An Interesting take on Hunting

I got this from an email my brother last year (unfortunately the author & date is unknown but the numbers do check out /// the links are ours) — In WWII, Japan’s highest ranking naval officer was Isoruku Yamamoto. Although he was Japanese, and his loyalties were unquestionably with The Empire, he studied for many years in America, graduating from Harvard University. There is an oft-repeated (and sometimes disputed) quote attributed to him regarding the possibility of any nation taking a war to American soil: “You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.”

Here is why he was correct; America’s Hunters are the World’s Largest Army — The state of Wisconsin has gone an entire deer hunting season without someone getting killed. That’s great, considering there were over 600,000 hunters that got permits this year. Allow me to restate that number, over the last two months, the eighth largest army in the world – more men under arms than Iran; more than France and Germany combined – deployed to the woods of a single American state to keep the deer population under control.

But that pales in comparison to the 750,000 who are in the woods of Pennsylvania this week. Michigan’s 700,000 hunters have now returned home. Toss in a quarter million hunters in West Virginia, and it is literally the case that the hunters of those four states alone would comprise the largest army in the world. As long as the American Hunter retains his right to Bear Arms, America will forever be safe from foreign invasion of troops. Hunting – it’s not just a way to fill the freezer. It’s a matter of national security.