Once a necessity for survival, hunting has become more of a sport in contemporary times, but one that remains an important seasonal tradition for many. With more than 15 million Americans enjoying this outdoor pursuit each year, it's no secret that accidents sometimes occur. However, you can ensure that the time you spend hunting in the great outdoors is fun for everyone by paying attention to the following safe practices.
Never shoot before you can visually confirm that your target is the animal you are seeking, and hold your fire if the animal is between you and another person. This applies even if you are an excellent shot because a bullet can travel over a mile once you pull that trigger. Also, it could pass right through your target, so make sure nobody else is in your line of sight.
Protect your hearing while you are hunting by wearing earplugs. As a gun owner, you are no doubt aware that the report of your rifle is extremely loud. The sound of a gunshot ranges between 140 decibels and 175 decibels, depending upon the type of gun you are using, well beyond what OSHA considers safe. Earplugs can keep permanent damage to your hearing at a minimum.
Wear eye protection. The ricochet of a bullet or the spray of bark and debris from a near miss can permanently ruin your eyesight, so don't take chances. Wear your safety glasses whenever you head out with your firearm. Tinted lenses can help eliminate glare, improving your accuracy when shooting.
Never underestimate the power you hold in your hands, and always treat it with respect. This means that:
Always hunt sober. If alcohol is part of your hunting tradition, save it until you return to camp at the end of the day. Hunters who are physically impaired are more likely to have accidents with serious consequences, both for themselves and their hunting partners.
Carry survival essentials with you at all times when you are out hunting, such as:
Smart hunters load up on safety before heading out to get their buck, duck or mountain lion. Find out about hunter safety classes, gear and firearms at Smokin Gun Worx of Forreston, Ill. Join our mailing list for seasonal updates and stop by today.