● Know your safe zone-of-fire. Your safe zone-of-fire is that area or direction in which you can safely fire a shot. It is “down range” at a shooting facility. In the field it is that mental image you draw in your mind with every step you take. Be sure you know where your companions are at all times. Never swing your gun or bow out of your safe zone-of-fire. Know the safe carry methods when there are persons to your sides, in front of, or behind you. If in doubt, never take a shot. When hunting, wear daylight fluorescent orange so you can be seen from a distance or in heavy cover.
● Control your emotions when it comes to safety. If you have just shot an animal you probably will be excited. Remember to remove the round from the chamber prior to climbing down from a deer stand or out of a duck blind. Show discipline. Rehearse in your mind what the safe actions will be. Do not allow your daydreams to replace good judgment. Show restraint and pass up shots which have the slightest chance of being unsafe.
● Wear hearing and eye protection. While shooting at the range, you must wear hearing and eye protection at all times. Firearms are loud and can create noises which are damaging to a person’s hearing. It can be a gradual loss of hearing due to outbursts of noise over many years. The damage could be immediate, especially if your ears are next to a muzzle blast. Vibrations from the blast are enough to create loss of hearing. Wear glasses to protect your eyes from escaping gases, burnt powder (especially in black powder shooting), and other debris.
● Don’t drink alcohol or take drugs before or while handling firearms or bow and arrows. Alcohol and drugs impair normal physical and mental body functions and must not be used before or while handling firearms or archery equipment. These substances affect emotions, making it easier to lose control.