Gun and hunting safety as Oklahomans head to the woods for hunting season

Gun and hunting safety as Oklahomans head to the woods for hunting season

LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - A local hunter shared a photo on social media this weekend, where he accidentally shot his finger off while dove hunting.

It’s hunting season in Oklahoma, and while many people will be heading to the woods, the president of a local gun club said safety should always come first.

“Always treat it as it’s its loaded, which means you don’t point it at anything you intend to shoot. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot. Make sure you are mindful of what’s behind your target as well, because once you shoot you can’t take it back," said the Stephens County Rifle and Pistol club president Howdy Stout.

The Supervisor of Natural Resources on Ft. Sill said hunting accidents are actually down state wide.

“Everybody in the state of Oklahoma, unless you have an exemption, you need to attend a hunter safety training course. It makes you understand different weapons and archery equipment and the safety related to it," said Chris Duermyer.

Muzzle loader season begins this Saturday.. Deurmyer said another big factor in your safety and the safety of others during gun season, is your attire.

“You have to wear 400 inches of blaze orange, which includes a hat and vest above the waist," said Deurmyer.

Deurmyer also discussed how you handle the weapon between uses..

“Hunters education talks about, don’t lean against stuff, how you go under fences, and not lean it against things that can give way," said Duermyer. "Don’t lean it against your truck, lay it down flat.”

And regardless of experience, Stout said it’s crucial to not let complacency impact how you handle your weapon.

“If you treat it properly and it’s well maintained and in mechanical order, you shouldn’t have any trouble. It’s not inherently dangerous. But if you throw out safety and you do something you shouldn’t you can certainly get hurt," said Stout.

Maybe the most important tips from both... your finger is your true safety, and you should always know what you are shooting at.

If you are interested in learning more about gun and hunting safety, visit www.wildlifedepartment.com

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