The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Editorials

September 20, 2008

Practice safety when hunting

Published Sun., Sept. 21, 2008

Yesterday morning I was greeted with a cool breeze from the north as I left my house and walked to my vehicle. Yes, it was a hint of things to come and for all outdoorsmen, just a taste of our favorite time of the year.

While dove season began Sept. 1, archery season is just a few days away followed in early November by the opening of rifle season. Our state legislature has been known to recess for the opening day of Texas whitetail deer season, one of the reasonable decisions coming out of Austin.

Whether you take to the field for doves, deer, quail, ducks, geese or exotic game, hunting safety should be foremost on your mind. A hunting accident can easily claim the life of a family member or friend. But, a few hunting safety tips can keep the trip of a lifetime from becoming a nightmare. We encourage everyone handling firearms and archery equipment to follow these hunting safety rules:

● Always point the muzzle in a safe direction. Do not point a firearm or bow at anything you do not intend to shoot. Control the direction of the muzzle at all times. Never rest the muzzle of a rifle or shotgun on your toe or foot. Keep your finger out of the trigger guard until the instant you are ready to fire. Always keep the safety on until ready to fire; however, the safety should never be a substitute for safe firearm handling.

● Treat every firearm or bow with the same respect you would show a loaded gun or nocked arrow. Every time you pick up a firearm, the first thing you should do is check to see if it is loaded. Be sure the chamber and magazine are empty. If you do not understand how to determine if it is loaded, do not accept the firearm until someone has safely shown you that it is unloaded. Read your instruction manual carefully before you handle new firearms or bows.

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