By Montana Grant

Posted: October 27, 2019

As other hunting seasons open, the fields and forests become more crowded. Not all sportsmen have access to private, and secure areas. Many of us must hunt on properties with larger populations of sportsmen.

Several opening days ago, a buddy set up along a creek for his shot opportunity. The creek bottom was loaded with sign. As the sun came up, he saw a large buck along the crest of the hill above him. The first unsafe shot made the deer look at him, and the second spooked the deer over the ridge. Neither shot hit the buck. Later that day, he walked back to his truck and discovered two well placed rounds in the hood of his pickup. The hood was penetrated but no damage to the motor occurred. He was hunting over 2 miles away.

The more crowded an area, the more safety concerns arise. Here are some things to remember.

               Bullet path   After you pull the trigger, you are responsible for the round. Unlike a laser guided smart weapon, your bullet can arc for miles, until it hits something. Never shoot at critters atop a ridgeline. If you miss, or pass through, the bullet still has enough energy to travel and hit an unintended target.

Hunters are not the only sportsmen afield   Not everyone outdoors in the fall is hunting. Fishing is still quite good. Other outdoor activities are still ongoing. EVERYONE should remember that hunting season requires safety orange. It may not be a law, but it is SMART!

Vehicles, farm equipment, irrigators, barns, and camps could be in the path   Plan your shot ahead of time if possible. While you are on stand or simply watching a likely hotspot, use your rangefinder to measure distances and align your shots.

Like it or not   Folks are still jogging, biking, skiing, snowmobiling, horseback riding, birdwatching, or walking their dogs. Hopefully they are smart enough to be wearing safety orange vests and hats.

Never shoot until you are sure where the arrow, slug, or bullet will impact. This responsibility may mean that you do not pull the trigger. Better to miss out on a critter than injure other outdoorsmen, pets, or unintended targets.

Stay alert and be smart!

Montana Grant

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