A post about safety for my Facebook group.
I am a firm believer that there can never be too much said about safety. Hunters tend to work in solitude, for the most part, so having a firm grasp on safety principles is a must.
Any person who wishes to own and carry a non-restricted firearm, such as shotguns and rifles, must successfully complete the Canadian Firearms Safety Course. It is offered by the RCMP/CAFC and is available across Canada. Before last year I had not picked up a gun in my life, and after completing the course I felt completely confident in my ability to safely handle a gun. This course is a legal requirement but is also valuable for any hunter who wishes to reduce the likely hood of an accident involving their firearm.
Before the Hunt
Safety begins at home. It is vital that any firearm be stored properly. A firearm must be unloaded during storage. It also must be rendered in operable by either attaching a secure locking device-a trigger lock- by removing the bolt or bolt-carrier, or locked in a gun case or room that is not easily broken into. In my home all three things are done.
Ammunition can be stored with or separately from the firearm. I store my ammunition separately.
Prepare fully for your hunting trip. Know exactly what terrain you will be dealing with and how many hunters will be in your party. Take note of your health when planning a hunting trip. When in poor health, even a common cold, it is best to put off your trip. Make sure you are well versed in first aid.
Assemble a full safety kit. Included in this kit should be:
1)Tents or some other implements used for shelter in the outdoors.
2)Fireproof matches. Any fire starting implement will do, but these matches are the most useful for the elements.
4)Chlorine tablets or liquid chlorine for water purification.
5)Easy to store food. I have invested in Ready To Eat Meals that only require boiling water.
6)Kettle and other cooking utensils for a long trip.
7)Maps of the area in which you will be hunting.
8)A fully charged cell phone.
9)A fully equipped first aid kit.
11)Needle and thread
As much as we might not like to think about it, getting lost or hurt is always a possibility on a hunting trip. Make out a detailed hunting plan and leave it with someone you know. Included in this plan should be:
1)When you are leaving and when you will be returning.
2)Your exact destination.
3)A description of your vehicle.
4)Who will be in your party.
5)Method of travel.
6)Cell phone number.
Once a friend or relative is aware of this information they can alert the local forestry department if you don't arrive back as scheduled.
During The Hunt
Using the wrong ammunition in a firearm can lead to fatal accidents. Use the proper size and type of ammunition for each gun and make sure different ammunition is stored individually in clearly labelled containers.
Wear high visibility clothes when making your way to your hunting ground so other hunters will recognize you as another hunter and not potential game.
Be aware of the direction of the muzzle of your gun. While looking for your game use one of the six carry techniques to keep those around you, and yourself, safe.
Always keep the safety on your firearm on to prevent the firearm discharging accidentally.
Know exactly what you are shooting at. Never shoot at sounds our rustling foliage. Something else besides your prey might be there, like a human.
When you have shot your game always approach the animal with your gun up. If an animal is simply injured there is a great chance they could still be able to attack you. An injured animal is very dangerous.