Hunting Accidents have 4 Common Causes:
- Judgment mistakes: The number one cause of hunting accidents is mistakes in judgment, such as mistaking a person for game, not checking what’s in front of or beyond your target, and getting caught up in the excitement of the hunt which can cause you to make foolish mistakes.
- Not following firearm safety rules: Another common cause of hunting related accidents is not following safe firearm practices like the four primary rules of firearm safety.
- Not enough practice: A huge problem in the field is hunters who don’t know their firearm capabilities. This stems from a lack of practice that can lead to things like accidental discharges and stray shots.
- Mechanical failures: When it comes to firearms you can never let your guard down; mechanical failures can and will happen, so you must know how to deal with them when they do.
The 4 Primary Rules of Firearm Safety while Hunting are:
- Always keep your muzzle pointed in a safe direction: The muzzle of your firearm should never be pointed towards anything that you don’t intend on shooting. Practicing safe muzzle control is one of the most important things that you can do out in the field, and should be something that’s second nature long before you ever head out into the field.
- There is no such thing as an unloaded weapon: Every firearm should be treated as a loaded weapon, therefore they should always be given the respect due to a loaded weapon.
- Make sure you know what’s in front of and beyond the target: When taking a shot, you must always be sure of what’s in front of and what’s beyond your target. If you cannot see what lies beyond your target, never take the shot.
- Keep your finger off the trigger: When carrying any firearm, your finger should never be inside the trigger guard unless you’re ready to shoot.
Following Safe Shooting Practices:
- Safe zone-of-fire: Your zone-of-fire is the 45 degree area directly in front of each hunter. Never fire your gun outside of your Zone-of-Fire. The reason we stay inside that 45 degree area, is that anything outside that area cannot be seen with reliability, and should be considered outside your field of view.
- Self-control: It’s not uncommon for hunters to become excited while out on a hunt; just remember that this excitement can cause you to make careless mistakes.
- Practice and accuracy: Shooting accurately is also one of the most important aspects of being a safe hunter. If you cannot routinely hit your targets while out at the range, you have no business hunting anywhere
- Target identification: If you’re not 100 percent sure of what you are shooting at, do not take the shot.