Resources About Guns: Hunting Safety!

Resources About Guns: Hunting Safety!

Think back to the time of the caveman. If you wanted to survive, you had to hunt and forage for food. Hunting is a natural instinct and part of the circle of life. It is man (or woman) versus beast. The thrill of the chase makes your heart start pumping and your juices flow. Yet there tend to be many other hunters no matter what animal you are hunting or where you go, so safety is always important. It is necessary for you to wear proper clothing so other hunters can distinguish you from the animals. Safety courses on handling guns are also imperative so you do not harm yourself or anyone else by accident.

Safety Courses and Equipment

Hunting can be done with a variety of equipment such as bow and arrows, muzzle loaders or even crossbows. When you hunt there is a lot of information that is important to know such as how to properly utilize the selected equipment and how to safely put up a tree stand so it doesn't fall down. There are safety courses that are available for you no matter what type of equipment you want to use. Crossbows are a piece of equipment for hunting that not everyone knows about. What exactly is a crossbow? A crossbow is a powerful weapon dating back to medieval times. A stock with a bow attached crosswise to it in addition to a trigger and a cranking mechanism combine to create a crossbow. Short, heavy arrows referred to as quarrels or bolts are fired by crossbows. You can hunt a variety of animals with crossbows such as feral hogs, bears and deer. What you are allowed to hunt depends on the state you are in and their regulations and necessary licensing. In the state of Maine crossbow hunter education courses include: history and modern crossbows; responsibility and ethics; accessories; shooting and handling; special concerns; laws and safety; and testing and review. Tips for crossbow hunting such as never walking with a cocked crossbow that has an arrow in it are important things to know for your safety and the safety of others.

Firearms is a very diverse group of hunting equipment which includes a variety of rifles, shotguns and handguns. Basically larger rifles are used for larger game such as bear or moose. You might use a 7 mm or a .30-06 for these big animals. Smaller rifles similar to a .22 are better for smaller game such as fox or rabbits. Bird shots and shotguns such as a 12 gauge are typically used to hunt birds. Handguns can be used to hunt any size animal small or large. You can even hunt a buffalo with a handgun. Certain ammunition is necessary for each type of firearm. There are always specific firearm rules, regulations and licensing that must be adhered to. In Missouri the firearm safety course includes: introduction; equipment shooting skills; hunting skills; primitive hunting; be a safe hunter; the ethical hunter; survival skills; conservation; and chapter reviews. Safety tips abound for firearm hunting such as treating your firearm always as if it is loaded.

Hunting with a muzzle loader is also an option for animals such as a big bull elk. Muzzle loaders can be either a primitive or an in-line type. In both cases gunpowder is poured into the muzzle (the open-ended, forward part of the gun) followed by a ball or a slug rammed on top of it. Primitive muzzle loaders can have either a caplock or flintlock ignition system. Muzzle loader hunting is particularly popular in the western states of the U.S. They actually have special seasons for muzzle loader hunting which traditionally occur when the peak of the elk rut is. Licensing for these muzzle loader seasons is limited so there you will find few other hunters in the woods. Muzzle loader education courses such as Alaska's include: overview; introduction; equipment; shooting skills; the ethical hunter; chapter reviews; and testing.

Hunting with a bow and arrow is another great way to hunt. Often people hunt deer with bow and arrows. The season is usually longer than the firearm season for deer. There are four different types of bows including: longbow, re-curve, compound and crossbow. A re-curve bow is great for beginners and is typically constructed with more than one material such as fiberglass. The tips of the bow curve away from the archer. The longbow is made simply of wood along with a hand grip and possibly a sight. A compound bow is similar to the re-curve bow but has pulleys which make it more efficient. Finally the crossbow, as previously stated, is a stock with a bow attached crosswise to it. There are many accessories that can help with bow hunting such as arrow rests, release aids and vibration dampening aids. Excellent classes are offered to educate such as the Wisconsin Bow hunter Education Course. This course includes: the history of today's bow hunting and it's heritage; bow hunter's responsibility to our environment, landowners, wildlife and others; preparing for the hunt-specific laws, clothing and other equipment; bow hunting equipment selection and care-tree-stand safety; marksmanship fundamentals; bow hunting methods; handling outdoor emergencies; and field care of harvested game.

Rules and Regulations-Differences Between States

Just as there are different ways to hunt and different types of game to hunt, rules and regulations vary depending on where you hunt. Since deer are very popular animals to hunt, let's compare several states and rifle hunting for deer. Deer hunting can be for antler-less deer or deer with antlers. In Minnesota, you can currently (as of 2011) purchase a hunting license for $26. It is valid for anyone 18 years of age or older. You can purchase a statewide or a southeast season license. You can hunt either sex deer with the license in any managed area or intensive area. You can hunt in a lottery area with this license if you were drawn for the lottery. There are special rules for children who wish to hunt. They must be at least 13 years of age, must have a firearms safety certificate or apprentice hunter validation. Gun season for deer in Minnesota is always in November. For example, you could hunt the first firearm season (2A and 3A) which is November 3 to November 11, 2012 . There are blaze orange requirements in Minnesota. Hunting with firearms for deer can begin one-half hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset.

In the state of Maine, applicants for adult hunting licenses must have proof of having had a hunting license any year since 1976 or have completed an approved hunter safety course from Maine or another state. The firearm deer season for all hunters in Maine is from approximately October 31 until November 26, 2011 . They have a chart stating the exact times for hunting, but it is basically a little before sunrise to just after sunset. Maine requires all hunters to wear solid-colored hunter orange hats along with covering most of their torso with hunter orange. During the firearms season, you cannot hunt any antler-less deer without a special permit.

Firearm deer hunting in Missouri requires a permit versus a license. The permit is referred to as a firearm any-deer hunting permit. Legal shooting time is one-half hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset. The firearm season is from November 12 until November 22, 2011 statewide.

For the state of Wisconsin, firearm hunting hours are just before sunrise until just after sunset. Charts are available with exact hunting times. The firearm deer season was from November 19 to November 27, 2011 . A license is required to hunt with a firearm in Wisconsin.

Tips-Safety Measures/Precautions:

Safety is extremely important no matter what kind of equipment you are hunting with. Some good, general safety tips include: when hunting wear hunter orange. States require a certain amount of your surface area to be solid hunter orange. Make sure you are very visible to other hunters. Always let someone know where you will be hunting so they know where to begin searching for you if you should get lost or become injured. Know some basic first aid and bring a small kit with you for emergencies. Check the weather forecast before you hunt and dress for the worst possible conditions. If the weather is going to be really bad, don't go. Check your hunting equipment before you go and be sure to properly maintain it. Hunting can be still be fun while adhering to safety tips and regulations.

Which of the following is NOT one of the "Three Ws" that should be included in every hunting plan?

What firearm you are hunting with.
Who you are with.
When you are returning.
Where you are going.


What technique can be described as "slow, patient movement of the hunter into shooting position after game has been located"?

Stand Hunting
Still Hunting


Which species is there federal hunting laws for?

Wood Duck
Ring-knecked pheasant
Snowshoe hare
White-tailed Deer


Which field carry provides the most firearm control?



Which choice is NOT recommended when approaching downed wildlife?

Approach quietly from behind.
Poke animal gently with a stick.
Touch the eye gently, if there's no reaction, animal is usually dead.
Shoot it again before approaching to make sure it is dead.


What is the technique known as "driving"?

One hunter sitting in a blind waiting for game to come along.
One hunter moving slowly and patiently into shooting position after game has been located.
One or more pushers walk through an area trying to move game ahead of them into areas wehre blockers are waiting.
One hunter driving a vehicle and a second hunter in the back set shooting through the open window.


Scouting an area you want to hunt should include:

Walk around the area on opening day with your firearm or bow.
Walk around the area looking for animal movements and signs.
Look at maps and aerial photos of the area.
Answers B and C.


Which of the following is NOT a reason why you should develop a hunting plan for every hunt?

So friends and family know how to contact you in case of emergency.
So you can use your hunting plan to start a fire if you get lost.
So fellow hunters know where you are located.
So friends and family know where you can be found in case of a hunting accident.


Which of these items should be on every checklist included in your hunting plan?

Hunting license


Which of these does NOT violate a hunting safety rule?

Carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle.
Keeping your finger on the trigger while stalking game.
Two hunters shooting at the same game.
Identifying what lies beyond an identified target.