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Have a safe hunting season: Follow these four rules

September 26, 2014

SALEM, Ore.—Last year, one person was killed and three people were injured in hunting incidents in Oregon.

The hunters involved made some of the common mistakes that cause hunting incidents. They failed to properly identify their target, mistaking a person for game. They didn’t follow safe procedures and unload their firearm before crossing difficult terrain.

With Oregon’s most popular hunting season , rifle deer, kicking off statewide next Saturday, Oct. 4, hunters are reminded to follow the four primary rules of hunter safety to protect themselves, their hunting partners, and others in the outdoors:

MUZZLE – Control the direction of your muzzle at all times.

TRIGGER – Keep your finger outside of the trigger guard until ready to shoot.

ACTION – Treat every firearm as though it were loaded. Open the action and visually check if it is loaded. Firearms should be unloaded with actions open when not in use and when crossing an obstacle or difficult terrain.

TARGET – Be sure of your target, and what is in front of it and beyond it.

Finally, wear hunter orange. Hunter orange clothing makes it much easier to see and be seen because nothing in nature matches this color. Deer and elk see the blaze orange color as gray so wearing it doesn’t make hunters more noticeable to their prey (and less successful at hunting). Oregon hunting regulations require hunters age 17 and under to wear hunter orange when hunting big game and upland birds (except turkey) with a firearm.

These four primary rules of hunter safety are emphasized in Oregon’s hunter education classes, which are required for hunters age 17 and under. While even one incident is too many, hunting incidents in Oregon have declined drastically since hunter education became mandatory in 1958. Besides firearm safety, the course covers topics like hunter ethics, wildlife identification, hunt preparation and techniques and outdoor survival.

ODFW certifies about 6,000 new students in hunter education each year through its network of volunteer hunter education instructors. Adults are also welcome at ODFW’s hunter education classes.

More information: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/education/hunter/index.asp

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Contact:
Michelle Dennehy
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Michelle.N.Dennehy@state.or.us
(503) 947-6022

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