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Keep it safe this upland bird season

Nebraska’s pheasant, quail and partridge seasons are quickly approaching. The youth season is Oct. 22-23, and the general season opens Oct. 29.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission reminds upland hunters to keep the following safety tips top of mind when they hit the fields this fall:

  • Treat every firearm as if it is loaded, and never assume it isn’t.
  • Always point the muzzle of your shotgun in a safe direction, away from people, structures, vehicles, roadways and any direction that could cause injury or damage if fired.
  • Be sure to identify your target, what’s beyond it, and what’s in front of it. Don’t swing your muzzle on game outside of your safe zone of fire.
  • Keep your finger outside the trigger guard and safety on until you are ready to fire.
  • Plan your hunt and hunt your plan; put a game plan together with your group before your hunt. Remind everyone to keep their shots in a safe zone of fire. Know where your hunting group and others are at all times during your hunt.
  • Never cross a fence, ditch, waterway or other obstacles with a loaded shotgun. Be sure to unload your shotgun, action open, and safety on before handing it to someone else over a fence.
  • Be sure you, your group and dogs are wearing hunter orange on your head, chest and back. Hunter orange has reduced hunting incidents by 80% since the 1970s and helps you and other hunters identify unsafe shooting scenarios in the field.

Hunters ages 12-29 are reminded that they must carry proof of successful completion of a hunter education course while hunting. Proof can be in the form of a valid permit containing the hunter’s hunter education number, or a hunter education card or certificate issued by another state.

Those ages 12-29 who have not completed a hunter education course may purchase a $5 Apprentice Hunter Education Exemption Certificate that provides novice hunters an opportunity to receive instruction with an experienced hunter before completing a hunter education course.

For more information on hunter education requirements and exemptions, visit HuntSafeNebraska.org.

To learn more about hunting in Nebraska, or to purchase a permit, go to outdoornebraska.gov.

About Jerry Kane

Jerry Kane is the news manager with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He can be contacted at jerry.kane@nebraska.gov or 402-471-5008.

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