Hunting Safety Tips For Beginners
Safety in hunting is essential. Those that are successful in hunter have planned out their hunt and are prepared for what will happen.
While it would be great if every hunter prepared for these trips, unfortunately not every hunter does. Here we will focus on hunting safety tips for beginners that are essential in order to avoid dangerous situations.
Four Firearm Safety Rules
By following these firearm safety rules when hunting, you will be more likely to stay safe.
1. Keep your firearm’s muzzle pointed in a direction that is safe.
It should never be pointed towards a person or anything else that you do not intend to shoot. One thing that must be practiced before going hunting is safe muzzle control. This should be practiced until it comes naturally.
2. Never keep your finger on the trigger of the firearm.
The only time the finger should be placed there is when you are ready to shoot. Inexperienced shooters often have issues with this, so,therefore, one really needs to practice this before heading into an open field.
3. Never assume that a weapon is not loaded.
This is an unsafe practice that gets many hurt each year. Treat every firearm as if it is loaded and ready to shoot. Even if you know it is unloaded or someone tells you it is unloaded, handle the weapon like it is loaded.
4. Know what is in front and behind what you are shooting at.
Never, under any circumstances, shoot at something if you do not know what is behind it.
Safe Shooting Practices
It is very important that you follow safe shooting practices in order to avoid an accident. By using these tips and techniques below, you can avoid many of the common causes of hunting accidents listed below.
Safe Zone of Fire:
You should never fire your weapon outside of your safe zone. This safe zone is a 45-degree angle area that is right in front of the hunter. Anything that is outside of this area can not be seen by the hunter clearly. This changes with every single move, so you must be aware of those that are around you at any given moment.
We have all become excited before when hunting. It is natural to do so, but you must remain in control of yourself. If you do not, you will make mistakes that could not only hurt you but others as well. If you are too excited, slow down and take a breather. Even if you have to stop the hunt for the day, it is better than putting your life or the life of someone else at risk.
Practice and Accuracy:
If you want to be a safe hunter, you must be accurate as well. If you are not able to hit your targets most of the time, you should not be hunting. If this is the case, you need to do more practice before hitting the field.
Remember above when we said do not take the shot if you do not know what is in front or in the back of your target. I am reiterating it again because it is so important. You must know 100% what it is or else you can not shoot at it.
Common Causes of Hunting Accidents
There are many causes of hunting accidents. The most common causes include the following:
1. The hunter does not have enough experience or practice.
One of the biggest things that I see with hunters is that they assume they know everything and just jump right into it. These beginners have not really used a firearm long enough to know the potential dangers of one.
2. The firearm malfunctions.
This could include an obstructed barrel or ammunition that was not placed properly. Unfortunately, nothing in this world is foul-proof. Firearms malfunction just like everything else in life. The best thing you can do for this is to prepare for it and know how to handle it.
3. The hunter will not follow the safety rules set forth for firearms.
These people may be careless when crossing fences, difficult terrain, or other obstacles. I have always said rule-breakers are the ones that get hurt. Or cause someone else to get hurt. With firearms, it is not any different.
4. A common cause of hunting accidents involves judgment.
Hunters could mistake a person for game or may shoot even though they do not know what is behind their target. While it is ok to be excited about hunting, you need to really pay attention.
Know Your Game and It’s Characteristics
Before you set foot on the field for hunting, you need to understand what you are hunting. This is crucial in many ways so you can make sure that the animals you are hunting and killing are legal game. You will need to examine the game you are hunting, as well as do research on the area you will be hunting in. You can also go out into the area and look for tracks and other signs of life to determine where their homes are.
An idea is to ask other hunters about the game and the area that they have hunted in. Perhaps ask them for stories about their hunting trips. Other great tips include either finding out or asking:
- Learning the sounds your game makes. All animals make sounds that are unique to their breed, which all mean something different. You need to learn what to listen for so you can use these sounds to your advantage.
- Find out what traits your game has. Are there any unique or distinguished features it has?
- Is this animal nocturnal?
- Determine if your game is a herbivore, carnivore, or omnivore.
- What are the animal’s range and habitat?
- Where are the nesting locations at?
- Learn is your game has any unique behaviors. Perhaps they act differently when the weather changes or if there is a change in the environment.
- Find out if the animal prefers to be solitary.
- Does this particular game have a routine they follow?
During the offseason, you can take hikes and explore. This will allow you to be more familiar with the area, perhaps teaching you more about your quarries. Books will also have a great deal of information about these animals that may be useful. Nature programs or hunting shows will provide great information too. Remember, the more you know about your game and the area, the more successful of a hunter you will be.
When hunting, it is essential that you know how to be safe. There is nothing worse than having a fun day of hunting planned with hunting buddies and having it cut short because someone was injured. No one expects an accident to ever happen. However, hunting accidents are not uncommon because people do not take the time to go over hunting firearm basics or safety.
By having safety on your mind at all times, you will keep yourself and others around you safe so you can all have the best possible hunting trip ever. Follow the motto that there is no such thing as being too safe and you will most likely not have any issues.