Out in the Open

Football, fun and safety with a gun 

Fall, the time of year that sparks the primal instincts of both men and women all over America.
This is the season where the smell of charcoal and the sound of screaming fans echo through the air at stadiums and living rooms all across our great nation, and also a time for guns and camouflage to be everyday attire for the outdoor enthusiast as they spend most of their waking hours hunting when not at work. 
With squirrel season well underway, as of Oct. 1, and deer season coming up Nov. 3, it is important to practice gun safety in any type of hunting situation.
There are several things I think are of utmost importance while “out in the open” with a gun of any kind. No matter what you are doing and in any situation, the barrel of your gun needs to always, and I repeat always, be pointed away from yourself , others, livestock and other animals not being hunted, and also objects that don’t necessarily need random holes shot into them.  
Also, your finger should never be on the trigger until it is time to fire the gun. 
That one wrong slip of the foot while walking on rugged terrain dodging holes and limbs could send the gun firing in an unsafe direction, turning a much anticipated hunting trip or sporting event into a much dreaded trip to the local emergency room. 
Before firing your gun, be certain of your target and what is beyond your target.
Keeping the safety on and not having a round inside the chamber until ready to shoot will be even more protection from a careless mistake, but even if you know without a shadow of doubt that the gun is not loaded, treat it as if you know without a shadow of doubt that it is.   
If hunting on public land or land where you might come in contact with other hunters, a certain amount of orange attire is mandatory for visibility. 
A less experienced hunter may be quick to draw their gun when they hear movement, and they might not be the safe hunter that leaves his finger off the trigger before distinguishing you from an animal, so being bright orange is a good thing.
Guns are not toys, and children need to be taught at a very early age to respect them. 
They need to be kept out of reach of children that don’t have proper knowledge and supervision. 
Guns are made for hunting, sport and to defend, and can be the cause of a lot of heartache and destruction when used for any other purpose. 
Hunter Education is a good tool for young people, and is now required for those in a certain age group. 
For a complete listing of Texas hunting license and laws, specific hunting regulations or Hunter Education requirements, consult the Texas Hunting Regulations, available directly from the Parks & Wildlife Department or on their website at www.tpwd.state.tx.us.

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