Hunting season is upon us across the Province and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is reminding hunters of their obligation to follow safe firearm practices. Over the past week OPP officers have responded to eight hunting related shootings across Southern Ontario. All of these shootings were preventable and resulted from basic firearms safety rules not being followed.
“Although the majority of hunters are responsible and follow firearm safety regulations, it is important for all hunters to constantly be diligent regarding practicing the firearm safety rules,” said Superintendent Chris Wyatt, Bureau Commander, Chief Firearms Office. “Hunters must exercise safety when handling their weapons and should always take into account the safety of others.”
While hunting, firearms must always be pointed in a safe direction with the safety “on” until you are ready to safely shoot the weapon. Your finger should never be on the trigger until you have identified your target, sighted it and you are ready to shoot. Anyone who discharges a firearm is responsible for the round coming from their weapon and they must be sure of their target.
Always be aware that you are sharing the forest with other hunters, as well as hikers, riders and bird watchers. Also, hunters are required to wear bright orange clothing that meets regulations which readily identifies themselves to others that might be hunting in the same area.
When not in use, firearms must be unloaded and safely secured (locked with a trigger lock) and ammunition must also be safely secured and stored.
For more hunting safety tips visit the Ministry of Natural Resources Website.
Please do your part, be responsible and remember to always hunt safely. Only you can practice firearm safety.