Think safety while you’re in the woods this spring

Wild turkey spurs can inflict major damage to you, even after the bird is dead.

Besides fishing and boating activities, hunting probably has more inherent potential hazards than anything else.  

At the top of the list of these potentially hazardous hunting activities is turkey hunting. I, in no way throughout this safety article, i-tend to try to scare someone away from turkey hunting.  

However, I do believe that good safety training can help keep you alive and well.

The first step is to identify some of the possibilities for injury that are built-in to turkey hunting. Along with recognizing the problems, we will briefly discuss some ways to reduce or eliminate the chances under which these situations may occur.

Know the range of your gun and load. The only way you can be safe when discharging a firearm is to know the range of the projectile or projectiles that you shoot.  

How much farther does one gauge shoot compared to another? What size shot travels the furthest? What gauges and shot size are legal in the area that you hunt? All of these questions must have specific, accurate answers for you to know enough to be safe.

Be sure of your target. It amazes me how, every year, there are stories of hunters being shot during the spring turkey season.  

I do not know of one state that has a spring turkey hunting season that does not require a visible beard on harvested birds.  

Based on how close you have to be to absolutely be sure of a beard, how could you mistake a hunter for a turkey?          

Do not think all turkey hunting shooting accidents occur at long range. Fatalities happen almost every year and it is very hard to kill a man at 50-yards with #6 shot.  

You can imagine how close you would have to be with a shotgun to make a fatal shot on a human. How can mistakes like that happen?

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