Do’s and Dont’s for Young & Old Hunters.

Whether your a seasoned hunter or just a beginner, here are some tips that may help you stay safe this hunting season. The first thing on your mind should be to evaluate your weapon of choice. We have a long gun season and there are many hunters in the woods during this time. It is usually a busy time. Every hunter should know the proper gun etiquette and safety methods that will go a long way in the enjoyment for yourself and your hunting partners. Even though there are several hunters who have been hunting for years and have been pretty successful during their time in the field. I have never met a hunter who gets up early in the morning and plans on having an accident or becoming a victim of another hunters mistake. It only takes a split second  for a lot of lives to be changed. The old adage, that it’s better to be safe than sorry applies more today than ever before. Every hunting season we all hear stories about someone getting shot by another hunter or accidently shooting themselves. Everything from falling with the gun to their dog stepping on a gun that has been left in the wrong place. Remember, your gun will shoot where it is pointed and it will not shoot unless someone pulls the trigger. Even though guns have been know to discharge when dropped or have fallen from a leaning position. Anytime you handle a gun, the first thing you should do is check to see if it is loaded, always do this by pointing it in a safe direction first. Never point a gun at anything you don’t intend to kill. Don’t depend on the safety to save someone’s life. Never load a gun inside a house, truck, tent, camper, etc. Wait until your in a safe place where you know there is no one that can be harmed if it accidently fires. Unload your weapon every time you cross a fence. Never lean your gun against a fence, tree or anything else while it is loaded. Always check your hunting clothes pockets and make sure you don’t have ammo for a different caliber in your pocket. 12 gauge shotguns won’t shoot 20 gauge shells and a 308 won’t shoot 270 ammo. but there are some calibres that are very similar and you could get badly injured if you load the wrong ammo into the wrong gun. Never shoot until you have clearly and postive view of the prey you are hunting. Gun’s are built to kill and they will usually kill whatever you point and fire them at (it does depend on range and accuracy).Every hunter should spend some time getting very familiar with their weapon of choice before hitting the woods. I remember several years ago I had just bought a new 270. I was hunting and spotted a deer and I got a bead on him and squeezed the trigger. Nothing happened. Lucky I was behind a tree and when the deer walked away, I had to find the safety. I should have known where it was. I guess buck fever got me, anyway I did kill the deer a few minutes later. Like Nick Saban say’s, I know I love my Vols too, but I like a quote saban said, practice till you can’t get it wrong instead of until you get it right. Your life could depend on it. Insist that your hunting buddy’s are as safety conscious as you are.

Good luck this season and I’ll catch you down the trail.

Ricky Cooper

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