Even for an experienced hunter, a hunter safety course is always good preparation for the season.
Regulations change every year, and it’s never a bad idea to brush up on firearms and ammunition handling, safety tips, hunting techniques, field dressing, wildlife identification, basic first-aid and more.
You can take a class in person or online. If you think you might have questions and want to discuss course material with the instructor, opt for an in-person class. If you’re looking for a come-as-you-are dress code and convenience to take the course on your own schedule, look into online options.
What is covered?
A hunter safety course will cover everything you need to know to hunt safely. This includes not just the basics of weapon safety but things like first aid, ethics, habitat conservation, hunting laws and regulations, wilderness survival skills, shot placement, field dressing of animal and more.
The most important reason to take a hunter’s safety course is firearms safety. The incident rate is on a steady decline. In 1988, when the course became mandatory, the incident rate was reduced by almost half and the fatality rate was reduced by almost 75%, according to ApprovedCourse.com. The website offers these four rules to remember;
• Always point your muzzle in a safe direction.
• Always treat every gun as if it’s loaded and check the chamber first.
• Always be sure of your target and what is beyond it. Avoid rocks and metal, which could cause a ricochet.
• Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire. Your finger should be outside the trigger guard unless you’re firing.
Play by the rules
Know the legal hunting requirements for the type, gender and number of animals you may take and at what times, according to your local authorities. Also, know the paperwork you’ll need to hunt legally, such as a valid hunting license and tags.