Firearm safety top of mind concern for conservation officials

Firearm safety top of mind concern for conservation officials

Hunters have their calendars marked for Nov. 18, the beginning of gun deer hunting season. The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is promoting firearm safety as hunters gear up for the season.

“People are getting out citing in their deer rifles and doing some things that they haven’t done in the last few months. It’s a good time to start thinking about firearm safety,” said Alabama Freshwater Fisheries Law Chief of Enforcement Michael Weathers.

Officials recommend following a four step checklist to ensure firearm safety.

1. Treat all firearms as if they are loaded.

2. Don't point a firearm at anything you aren't intending to shoot.

3. Keep your finger off of the trigger and out of the trigger guard until your sights are on target and you've decided to fire.

4. Know your target and what's beyond it.

There have been 20 reported hunting related incidents in the 2016-2017 Alabama Hunting Incident Summary. Officials say that proper knowledge of the hunting could help reduce that number.

“A lot of our incidents happen from people that have not had hunter education, and there is always something that you can learn. It’s a lot more than just firearm safety,” said Hunter Education Coordinator, Marisa Futral.

Anyone born on or after Aug. 1, 1977, must complete an approved hunter education program before being eligible to legally hunt in Alabama.

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Copyright 2017 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.