SAFETY FIRST: Tips for hunters as modern gun season kicks off

Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 8:19 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - As hunters make their way back into the woods, experts want you to be aware of the risks if proper safety is not practiced.

The essential tool when it comes to hunters is, of course, the gun.

Guns tend to jam from time to time, sometimes even when that big game is in your scope.

The sudden inconvenience might lead some hunters to panic, but a firearms expert with over two decades of experience says that is one of the worst actions you can take.

“Depending on the firearm, if it is a bolt action, lever action, or semi-automatic, what is it you need to do to clear the weapon of the malfunction.”, Jim Magee explained.

Magee teaches at Brookland High School, where he coaches the trap team. He does firearms training outside of his school job.

He said you should know your firearm inside and out before heading out to the woods, adding the more you know about it, the easier it can be to deal with issues on the stand.

“Whether it is a pistol, rifle, or shotgun, make sure it is absolutely 100% unloaded. This is where most accidents happen,” Magee emphasized.

While guns are considered dangerous on their own, the person holding even the smallest of firearms can be just as dangerous if they are not taking the proper precautions.

“Falling out of the deer stand is the single most thing in Arkansas that hunters are injured by,” Magee said.

Magee emphasized he will not climb his stand unless he has a safety harness on.

If an accident does occur on your hunt, you could most likely be in an area with no cell service, or it would even leave you immobile, making it difficult to reach for your phone. may have no cell service, or possibly be immobile.

Whenever you go out for a hunting trip, it’s advised to leave a note or send a text message to let those close to you know where you are.

“Always try and make sure people know where you are going, and some kind of time frame for when you will be back,” Magee said.

Modern gun season opens on Saturday, Nov. 12, with season-end dates varying by zone.