Safety Urged as Firearm Season Gets Underway This Weekend

Indiana hunters are ready for the beginning of firearm season this weekend.
Beginning on November 12 and running through November 27, it’s one
of the most exciting times of the year for firearm hunting enthusiasts.
That said, it can be an incredibly dangerous, even fatal, two weeks.

In Indiana, 300,000 hunters take part in the hunting seasons between October
and January. History shows an average of 33 hunting accidents each year
within the state, and more than half of those are due to falls from elevated
locations. These locations may be hand-built structures or the kinds of
hunting tree stands sold commercially. Both have proven to be a serious
risk to hunters, with the height of falls often being 15-20 feet. Such
a fall can leave a hunter with serious head injuries, spinal injuries
leading to paralysis, or internal injuries. Death is certainly a possibility
when the fall is from a significant height.

Careless Gun Handling Poses Risks to Hunters

So what about actual shooting accidents? Thanks to educational efforts,
the number of incidents in which one hunter shoots another while in the
act of attempting to shoot a target is small. A large majority of hunting
accidents involving firearms are caused by hunters who mishandle or carelessly
handle their gun. Careless handling of a firearm may include hunters who
are under the influence of drugs or alcohol but also accidents wherein
hunters unintentionally fire their gun due after losing control of their weapon.

For example, an unexperienced hunter may walk with a finger on the trigger
during firearm season. In this case, one small misstep can result in a
gun being accidentally fired. Similarly, a firearm positioned precariously
(on a table, lap, etc.) can become deadly if it begins to slip away, and
the hunter grabs for the gun. Here, it is all too easy for the trigger
to be activated, albeit accidentally, and seriously injure or kill someone
in the vicinity. Despite the accidental nature of such an incident, it
is entirely possible for a hunter to be held liable for the injuries caused.
This is because the act does not have to be intentional—it need
only have occurred due to carelessness on the part of the firearm owner.

Firearm Safety Basics Are A Must

Hunter education includes four primary rules of firearm safety. They seem basic, but rules
can help to alleviate serious hunting accidents resulting from firearms.

  1. Treat
    every firearm as if it were loaded. Though a firearm should not be loaded when not in the field or in a shooting
    area, you should NEVER assume a firearm is unloaded. Check the gun immediately
    upon receipt.
  2. Keep the muzzle of the pointed in a safe direction. Always know which way your muzzle is pointing, and do not point it in
    any direction where there may be people in the line of fire.
  3. Know your target and what is beyond it. Know exactly what is in the path of your shot, and ensure no additional
    animals nor people can be injured when you pull the trigger.
  4. Keep
    your finger outside the trigger until you intend to shoot. As mentioned above, carrying or holding your firearm with your finger
    on the trigger is an accident waiting to happen. Just don’t do it.

If you and your hunting party adhere to these and other safety rules, firearm
season is sure to be good to you. If something happens and someone in
your group is injured, the
personal injury attorneys at Wagner Reese can help. Call us today for completely FREE consultation
at (888) 204-8440.