Hunting Safety

Every year about 900 hunters are killed or injured in hunting accident. Dick Cheney, our Vice President just shot his Texas friend of thirty years in the neck and face. Cheney is an experienced hunter and proved that a hunter must continually be on guard to prevent accidents. Cheney suffered great sorrow because of the accident as you would if you shot your friend or even a stranger.Many Americans know about guns and their hazards. In the west, boys own guns at a very young age.

Some girls learn about guns too. They know guns are dangerous.Many learn about guns in the military.

They learn rifle range rules to keep from shooting the target monitors and each other. Most states have gun laws that require that youngsters take a gun class before they are allowed to hunt. That is a good idea.

There is a good set of firearm safety rules at READ THEM!.

Here are my rules: The Taylor Jones Rules for Hunting.1. Keep your firearm in good condition. That means to clean it and oil it after use and to check it occasionally while it is in storage. Remove any excess oil when you decide to use the firearm.2.

Store your firearm in a locked cabinet. Since you just cleaned it, it should not be loaded. Check to see if it is loaded.

If it is, unload it.3. Make sure the lock on your gun cabinet is of high quality and that it can not be picked or pried open. Keep the key on your key ring in your possession or in a secure place that others can not find. Remember that children are very clever and if they want to get into your gun cabinet, they will if you don't monitor their activities.4.

When you retrieve your gun from the gun cabinet, what do you do first? You check to see if it is loaded. Someone could have gotten into your gun cabinet, loaded the gun, and then replaced it. Believe me, this does happen. When I was a kid, I made it happen.5.

Smell your gun when you first take it out of the gun cabinet. You will be able to tell if it has been fired. If you suspect it has been fired, look down the barrel once you know for sure the gun is not loaded. Now you will be able to tell if has been fired by the particles left behind by the bullet as it passed through the barrel. If the gun has been fired, find out who fired it and take proper action.6.

You should have a case for your gun. Place the unloaded rifle or shotgun or handgun in its case when not hunting or target shooting. Always have the gun in a case in your car. Some states require this.7. When you arrive at the hunting scene, watch what others are doing.

If they swing the barrel of their rifle or shotgun your way, warn them about it. Tell them what the safe hunting rules are then and there.8. Never hunt with a klutz that does not know how to handle a firearm. Never hunt with anyone that drinks one drop of alcohol. If you see a problem, tell them that you think it would be best to form two hunting parties and separate yourself from them.

An alternative is to decide not to hunt and get back in the car. I suggest that you only hunt with those you know and trust.9.

Carefully remove your firearm from its case. Do not load the weapon until you are actually hunting. When you do load the weapon, you may want to keep the firing chamber empty until you know that you are going to fire.10. Follow the dress codes of your state. That bright orange hat and vest might keep you from getting buckshot in your paduka.

11. Continually be in contact with all those in your hunting party. If gabbing does not interfere with the hunting strategy, continually talk to each other. If you are not talking, maintain eye contact. If someone disappears from you view, stop hunting then and there until you again gain contact with that person. This is the most important rule of hunting in my opinion.

12. Continually monitor your field of safe fire. Never go out of this field. Dick Cheney went out of his field of safe fire.

He had lost contact with his hunting partner but kept hunting. That was a big error on his part.13. Don't run with your loaded firearm.

There is seldom a need to run while hunting. If you must run, lay your weapon down or at least unload it.14. Remember that your dogs are your hunting companions. Make sure your safe field of fire doesn't have your dogs running through it.

I was pheasant haunting in Iowa years ago when a line of fox hunters appeared on the horizon with their white snow coveralls. A kit of foxes shot out in front of them. Their score was two dogs and no foxes. My friend shot one of the foxes and sold it to them.

The dogs were expensive fox hounds and they were dead.15. Rough terrain can cause accidents. You could trip and fall and your firearm could go off in any direction. If you are carrying game, take extra precautions with our firearm.

16. The bottom line is this: you must be eternally vigilant to be a good hunter. A good hunter is a safe hunter.A couple of years ago a man in our town in Arizona had an argument with his wife while deer hunting. He grabbed the barrel of his rifle and slammed it into the side of his pickup.

The rifle discharged severing his femoral artery.Because the evacuating helicopter had a mechanical problem it turned around and went back to its base. The dispatcher did not request another helicopter until it was two late.

I visited the man at the hospital with the bishop of our church. He was comatose and dying. He left his wife and two sons.If the man had been transported to the hospital in our small town, the doctors could have stopped the bleeding and saved his life.

The no-show helicopter was the main problem.When you are out hunting, think about where you would find medical care if you needed it. What action would you take in an emergency?.

Here is one last rule: Never handle a firearm when angry.The End.


John T. Jones, Ph.D. (, a retired VP of R&D for Lenox China, is author of detective & western novels, nonfiction (business, scientific, engineering, humor), poetry, etc.

Former editor of Ceramic Industry Magazine. He is Executive Representative of IWS sellers of Tyler Hicks wealth-success books and kits. He also sells TopFlight flagpoles. He calls himself "Taylor Jones, the hack writer.".More info: http://www. web site:

By: John T Jones, Ph.D.

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