Self-inflicted mishaps on deer season opening weekend drive home the importance of firearms safety


Safe handling of a firearm is one of the most important parts of a successful deer hunt

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – When you are out hunting deer there are many how-to’s — how to choose a good hunting spot, how to tele check a harvested deer, how to field dress a deer, to name a few. Although each of those are valuable, hunters should not overlook the most important how-to – how to handle a firearm safely.

Gun safety may seem basic, but three self-inflicted non-fatal hunting incidents in southwest Missouri on the opening weekend of the November firearms season are reminders that these principles cannot be stressed too often.

“One of the big things people need to remember is, when hunters are transporting their firearms, they should be unloaded and the actions open,” Missouri Department of Conservation Hunter Education and Shooting Range Coordinator Justin McGuire said. “Over the years, failure to transport firearms safely has directly led to people injuring themselves and others.  Many times, people are injured by firearms that were assumed to have been unloaded.”

McGuire said other firearms safety guideline to remember are:

  • Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
  • Always keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to fire
  • Always keep the safety on until you’re ready to fire.
  • Always be 100 percent sure of your target and what’s beyond it.

The November portion of Missouri’s firearms deer season runs through Nov. 24.


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