June “Outta’ the Woods”
5 fundamentals of safe hunting
Do you know someone who wants to learn how to hunt or target shoot? Our collective experience in responding to COVID-19 may have made a friend or family member more interested in hunting to put locally sourced protein in the freezer. Or they may just want to feel more confident at the range. Below are tips you can share with a new hunter or target shooter or review yourself before heading afield or to the range.
1. Think S.A.F.E
We want all hunters to think S.A.F.E., so the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) hunter safety program uses this acronym to remind hunters to focus on these four major rules of preventing hunting accidents:
2. Loading/unloading a firearm safely
The following steps should be practiced so diligently and consciously that safety is permanently ingrained in the hunter’s mind.
3. Safe firearm carries
There are several safe ways hunters can carry a firearm and the carries most appropriate to use may depend on the circumstance.
When hunting in a group for species such as quail or rabbit, hunters should first talk about and agree upon the zone-of-fire each person will cover. A zone-of-fire is the area in which a hunter can shoot safely. Zones of fire depend on many factors, including the hunter’s shooting ability, the animal being hunted, the lay of the land, and the hunting strategy being used.
5. Treestand safety
There are many safety factors to consider when hunting from an elevated platform such as a treestand.
For more information on hunter safety requirements in Florida, visit MyFWC.com/HunterSafety. For opportunities to visit an FWC-managed shooting range, visit MyFWC.com/Ranges.
A safe hunt begins at home by always observing fundamentals of firearm safety. A responsible hunter keeps firearms locked in a secure place with ammunition always stored separately. A gun safe or locking gun cabinet is the safest place to store firearms.
If a gun safe or locking gun cabinet is not available, firearms can be stored away in a case, with the addition of a lock that disables the action or with a trigger lock that completely encases and secures the trigger.