There are many weapons for hunting, but none of them requires careful handling and usage as a gun. Guns are lethal weapons, and you’re using one for your hunting adventures, you probably read and learned few of these rules. These are rules every hunter must always learn and apply to ensure their safety and those of their hunting partners.
There are no specific rules for newbies or experienced gun handles. Every hunter must treat the gun with respect as a simple mistake will not spare you because you’re experienced.
In this post, we are going to discuss some gun safety rules. Most of these rules are things you already know, but then you need to brush your skills from time to time.
Gun Safety Tips for Hunters
1. Treat All Guns as if They Were Loaded
This looks like a basic rule but it is one of the most fundamental rules to follow. Treating all firearms as if they are loaded helps instil deep respect to the guns. The rule basically educates hunters to be careful when around any firearm. Always check the magazine, chamber and receiver visually to be sure there is no ammunition.
Even if you unloaded the firearm the last time you stored it, make sure you still confirm before testing it. Treating all guns as if they are loaded ensures you handle your gun carefully at all times.
2. Never Let the Muzzle Cover Anything You are not Willing to Destroy
You should not point the gun at all times to anything you don’t intend to shoot. Make it a habit to always know where the muzzle of your gun is pointing. The muzzle should not point any person, animal or objects you don’t intend to shoot. This includes the gun muzzle facing your body, feet and legs.
The direction of the gun muzzle must be given respect at all times. Always have the gun muzzle direction in your mind when handling it. There are instances when a target let’s say a Bighorn sheep appears suddenly. Your instinct will be to point the gun muzzle direct to the sheep. However, the process of whipping the gun around might direct the muzzle to unlikely targets. You never know what might happen in a split of a second.
It is always important to use a spotting scope to scan the area for game. Using a rifle scope to scan for games in the area means you will be aimlessly pointing your gun muzzle towards unsafe directions. A rifle scope is only used to center your target for accurate shooting and not scanning. A spotting scope can help you identify the game from which you can then use the rifle scope to center your weapon and get an accurate kill.
3. The Trigger Rule
Your finger should be off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot. This is another very simple rule but one that some hunters tend to ignore. Experienced hunters will never have their fingers on the trigger until they are sure they want to shoot.
This rule might appear like a no-brainer to a newbie but trust me, the finger is likely to engage the trigger due to the tendency of wanting to handle a gun. Gripping with our fingers is the natural way we are wired to hold things.
If you don’t believe me, try holding an object with your index finger straight.
4. Identify Your Target and Know What is Beyond It
What will you hit if your bullet passes through the target or misses? This should be the final safety rule to consider before finally putting your finger on the trigger and releasing. Look beyond the target when about to shoot. There is also the risk of the bullet ricocheting off hard places like a cliff.
Bullets can travel long distances, and we need to see beyond the target. A 270 ammunition travels over 3.5 miles while a 22 bullet travels for 1.5 miles.
Always keep these rules in your mind before going to the field for your safety and those around you. There are several more safety tips to always remember like unloading your firearm when in storage and keeping the ammunition in separate places.