By Kyle Jillson | February 16 2013 11:08

NRA teaching kids how to be safe while hunting with these real world examples

NRA InSights has a great article for youth hunters out there (and maybe even some adults) explaining why it is important to keep on top of your firearm safety lessons. Not Learn safety and success in the field with NRA InSights because they want you to recite those lessons in front of a crowd, but because you need to apply them in actual real life situations.

Out In The Field: Safety And Success Begin With You
By Michael D. Faw

While it's important to know and follow the rules of firearm safety, the rules can't help you if you can't translate them into safe behavior in the hunting fields. It's as important to use common sense and to think ahead as it is to understand the rules. You see, situations constantly change when you're out in the real world, so it's critical to always "have your head in the game." These basic hunting situations and guidelines can help you be safe afield:

Loading and Unloading

Wondering about when to load or unload a firearm on a hunting trip? Load a firearm when you are in the field (away from buildings and vehicles), and ready to actually begin hunting. Although you should always remember to keep your muzzle pointed in a safe direction, to keep your finger off the trigger, and to not rely on your mechanical safety alone, you should have your safety on until you are on target and ready to fire.

While hunting, you will also need to unload when crossing hazards, such as slippery streams or deep ravines, when going up or down steep hillsides, and when crossing fences. Don't risk your life to a slip, trip, or fall with a loaded firearm in your hands.

Once you are clear of the obstacle, safely reload and continue hunting. Remember, while loading and unloading, you should make sure your muzzle is pointed in a safe direction, such as at the side of a hill.

The Safest Carry

If someone is ahead - or will possibly be able to move ahead - of the muzzle of the firearm you are carrying, you are potentially creating an unsafe condition. If someone is ahead of you, or behind you, you'll need to use judgement to determine if you should carry your firearm on your shoulder on a sling, in a cradle or two-hand carry position across your chest, or with the firearm pointed directly ahead while held on your arm near the elbow in an elbow (or side) carry position.

Determine which position works best to create a safe hunting condition. And remember that as your fellow hunters move to the side, or ahead or behind of you, the way you carry your firearm should change to meet the changed conditions. Be vigilant with safety and use common sense as you watch that muzzle - and where it is pointing.

Read the rest of NRA InSights' tips and all their other great articles this month in the free digital copy of their magazine.

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