Friday, January 27th, 2023
Friday, January 27th, 2023

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Sportsmen Since 1967

Game farm, shooting preserve safety is top priority

Madison – Hunting at Wisconsin’s licensed game farms and
shooting preserves is getting more popular, increasing the
potential for shooting incidents that has the state’s hunter
education administrator reminding all about safe firearm
practices.

“When hunting with firearms, safety should always be first and
foremost – no matter where you are hunting,” said Tim Lawhern,
conservation warden and hunting safety administrator with the
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Lawhern says the social situations on licensed game farms or
preserves, where people pay a fee to hunt and may hunt at any time
of the year without a Wisconsin hunting license, may
unintentionally foster lax attitudes about safety.

“When pheasant hunting, one of the things that happens is
hunters know there are birds on the ground and they are eager to
get them. That’s why people like to go to game farms. Hunters often
bring along friends and, in some cases, bring along novice
hunters,” he said. “Ensuring that hunting partners are practicing
the four basic rules of firearm safety is just as important at game
farms and preserves as anywhere.”

The rules are:

  • Treat your firearm as if it is loaded – even if you know it is
    not.
  • Always point the muzzle in a safe direction. “Pay special
    attention to both the older and younger hunters,” Lawhern said.
    “The older hunters may become lax due to familiarity and the
    younger hunters have not had a lot of experience.
  • Be certain of your target and what is beyond it. “In the case
    of pheasant hunting, it is what is beyond it that can get a hunter
    into a bad situation,” he said. “Always know where your hunting
    buddies are and don’t shoot in their direction. Period.”
  • Keep your finger outside the trigger guard until ready to
    shoot. “There will be plenty of time to get your finger inside the
    trigger guard when it is time to shoot,” he said. “Keep your
    firearm’s safety engaged in the on-safe position until you are
    ready to shoot.”

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