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Deer hunters reminded to follow four key safety rules

The November firearm deer season is quickly approaching, and hunters are reminded to follow the four primary rules of firearm safety:

  • Treat every firearm as if it is loaded;
  • Always point the muzzle of your firearm in a safe direction;
  • Be sure of your target, what is in front of it, and what is beyond it; and
  • Keep your finger outside of the trigger guard until you are ready to fire.

Hunters that follow these four rules greatly reduce the risk of causing a hunting incident. In 2021, Nebraska reported eight incidents, four of which occurred while hunters were pursuing big game.

“The firearm deer season is near and dear to the hearts of many Nebraskans, and anticipation for opening day is building,” said Hunter Nikolai, hunter education coordinator. “Remind those you hunt with, novice to experienced, to always follow the four primary firearm safety rules and make this season memorable for the right reasons.”

Beyond firearm safety, falls from elevated stands are another repeated cause of hunting incidents.

“If you’re hunting from a tree stand or elevated position, always wear a full body harness, and keep your harness connected to the tree or a safety line from the time you leave the ground until you get back to the ground after your hunt,” Nikolai said.

Keep the acronym ABCD in mind before ascending your tree stand:

  • Always remove and inspect your equipment before use;
  • Buckle your harness securely;
  • Connect your harness before your feet leave the ground; and
  • Destination – Tell someone your location for each hunt.

Hunters also are reminded of the requirement to wear at least 400 square inches of hunter orange material displayed on their head, chest and back during the nine-day November firearm deer season, regardless of hunting with a firearm or archery equipment.

Nebraska’s 2022 firearm deer season is November 12-20. To learn more about hunting in Nebraska, or to purchase your permit, visit OutdoorNebraska.gov.

About shawna richter-ryerson

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