- Complete a state-certified hunter education course. Hunter education courses have dramatically decreased hunting-related injuries since 1949, when New York introduced the first mandatory course. Today's hunter education programs teach not just hunter safety but also promote ethical hunting practices and wildlife conservation.
- Review and follow the four basic rules of firearm safety. The most common hunting incidents result from hunter judgment mistakes. To avoid hunting incidents, every hunter should review and follow these basic rules:
1. Treat every gun as if it is loaded
2. Never let the muzzle of a firearm point at anything you do not intend to shoot
3. Keep your finger off the trigger and out of the trigger guard until your sights are on the target and you are ready to shoot
4. Always be sure of your target and what is beyond
- Wear blaze orange clothing. According to the National Rifle Association, deer cannot distinguish this color, but your fellow hunters can, and for that reason, wearing blaze orange helps enhance safe hunting. 43 out of 50 states require wearing blaze orange during specified hunting seasons.
- Remember common sense safety rules. When you go hunting, keep other common sense safety rules in mind:
1. Check the weather report before you go
2. Tell someone, in writing, where you will be and when you will return
3. Carry a first aid kit
4. Bring dry clothing