Safety tips for hunters

January 11, 2001 11:00 pm

By LEN ACKERMAN

Accidents will happen in outdoor sports, but in most cases theyre preventable by the use of common sense and safety precautions.

Here are a few suggestions:

Take an occasional refresher course in hunter safety.

Start each hunt with a reminder about gun safety.

Be completely familiar with your gun. If you buy a new one, use it at a range before you head into the field.

Always treat your gun as if it is loaded. This should prevent you from pointing it at anyone, using it as a crutch or resting it in an unsafe manner.

Keep your gun barrel free of obstructions.

Never discharge your gun without knowing exactly where the shot is directed. If there is anything in the line of fire that does not ring true, dont fire.

Be familiar with the shells you use. Dont mix two different gauges in the same pocket or carrier. Actually look at each shell before inserting it into the chamber.

Be adamant about the rules of the road. One rule frequently abused is the lunchtime cocktail or beer. Avoid consumption of alcohol during or prior to hunting.

Dont become a statistic. Practice the etiquette of shooting and be sure those in your hunting party do the same.