Common causes of firearm incidents

Most hunting-related incidents occur when hunters behave in a careless manner or forget the basic rules of firearm safety.  Look at incident reports involving hunters and you'll likely find one or more of the following mistakes.

The hunter:

  • Pointed the muzzle of a firearm at someone
  • Did not identify the target carefully and/or whatever was beyond it
  • Did not keep his or her finger out of trigger guard and off the trigger until ready to shoot
  • Assumed that a firearm was unloaded and handled it carelessly
  • Stumbled or fell while carrying a loaded firearm
  • Fell while climbing into/out of position
  • Assumed that the firearm was unloaded when crossing a fence
  • Jumped over a ditch or creek with a loaded firearm
  • Transported a loaded firearm in a motorized vehicle
  • Swung out of a safe zone of fire into another hunter's zone

Avoid these kinds of mistakes by observing the rules of safe firearm handling in this chapter.

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