The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission just kicked off their annual Home From the Hunt campaign to remind North Carolina hunters to be aware of their surroundings and positively identify their target before pulling the trigger.
“Don’t let the excitement of having a deer or other game in your sights overtake the absolute necessity of practicing safe firearm and hunting techniques,” said Chet Clark, the Commission’s eastern outreach manager. “There could be homes, vehicles or even people in front of or behind your target, so it’s important to take the time to make absolutely certain that it’s safe to pull the trigger. Hunters should use binoculars, not a rifle scope, to first identify a target and then take aim only when ready to fire at something they wish to shoot.”
The four primary rules of firearms safety:
- Always point a firearm in a safe direction.
- Treat every firearm as if it were loaded and never assume a firearm is unloaded.
- Keep your finger out of the trigger guard and off the trigger until ready to shoot.
- Be sure of your target–and what’s in front of and behind it.“Last year’s hunting season set the all-time low for hunting and hunting-related incidents,” said Clark. “Of those 22 incidents, eight were firearms-related and none were fatal. By continuing safe, ethical and responsible firearms handling practices, we can continue to progress towards our goal of zero incidents.”For more information on hunting seasons, licenses, Hunting Heritage Apprentice Permits and the Hunter Education Program, go to www.ncwildlife.org or call 919-707-0031.