Nebraska’s most popular hunting season – the firearm deer hunting season – opens tomorrow morning, Saturday, November 10th. I don’t know about you, but me and my family are ‘pumped up’ for it! We’re excited to take to our stands and blinds in the morning!
In the midst of the excitement and as you plan strategy, please be reminded that safety in the field is paramount! Listed below are some key safety points for you – the firearm deer hunter – to read over in advance of the opener and to heed in the field before raising that rifle to your shoulder.
Remember, a safe shot at game is one where you see the animal clearly, are able to positively identify it, and are sure of what lies between you, your target and beyond. Should I take the shot or not?
Never take these kinds of shots:
- At game that you can’t identify. Never shoot through brush and trees at a sound, movement or a dark shape!
- At running game, when there is little opportunity to check your zone of fire and you are very unlikely to make a clean kill anyway.
- At “skylined” animals that are standing on or moving over a hill where you have no way of knowing what lies beyond your target.
- At targets when the angle of a missed shot would cause your bullet to travel its maximum trajectory and possibly injure others.
- At game that is clearly out of range.
- At groups of animals as opposed to a single target. Herd shooting increases the risk of wounding game rather than making a clean, humane kill with proper shot placement on a single deer.
- When objects in the foreground of your target could deflect your bullet.
- At game that another hunter is shooting at.
- When your bullet is apt to ricochet off flat or hard surfaces such as rocks, water, or trees.
Before I take aim at a whitetail deer with my 300 win mag, I always ask myself these three things regarding safety: (1) Is that a legitimate target, (2) is the bullet flight path clear and (3) what the heck am I gonna hit if I miss!
Have a safe hunt!