Whenever firearms are being handled, an incident can occur if the firearm is not handled responsibly. Preventing hunting-related shooting incidents depends on knowing and understanding firearms, and handling them skillfully and safely. Responsible hunters practice safe habits until they become second nature.
When using a firearm, be sure to follow the five primary safety rules. You can remember these rules by thinking S.M.A.R.T.:
- Safe Direction: Keep your firearm pointed in a safe direction at all times.
- Make Sure: Positively identify your target.
- Always Check: Know what’s beyond your target before shooting.
- Respect Firearms: Treat all firearms as if they are loaded.
- Trigger Caution: Don’t touch the trigger until you’re ready to shoot.