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Be safe while hunting pheasants this fall

LINCOLN, Neb. – Many Nebraska outdoorsmen and women will go afield this fall to pursue a time-honored tradition of hunting ring-necked pheasants and northern bobwhite. Hunter Education Coordinator Jackson Ellis of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission says safety should be a top priority for hunters.

“This is an exciting time of the year for Nebraska hunters,” he said. “While hunting is one of the safest family sports outdoors, with hunting incidents at an all-time low in Nebraska in recent years, we want hunters to consider some key safety factors when pursuing upland game.”

— Keep your muzzle pointed in a safe direction.

— Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire.

— Properly identify your target and what lies beyond it before pulling the trigger.

— Make sure you know where everyone in your hunting group is located at all times and be in direct communication.

— Keep shots in your safe zone of fire (approximately 45 degrees in front of you), and do not swing on game in the direction of your partners.

— Wear blaze orange on your head, chest and back to become more visible to those around you. The use of blaze orange is responsible for an 80-percent drop in hunting incidents since the 1970s.

— Completely unload your firearm when crossing obstacles such as barbed-wire fences, ditches and creeks.

“Hunting continues to be a safe, family-oriented activity in Nebraska each year,” Ellis said. “By following a few simple safety tips, you and your family can more fully enjoy your time spent afield.”

The pheasant and northern bobwhite seasons run Oct. 27-Jan. 31. Visit OutdoorNebraska.org for more information about hunting or to buy a permit.

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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