Big game seasons are over in fall, but small game hunting is in full swing in Colorado. While hunting rabbits and ducks may not have the same kinds of risks, you must still be aware of some of the common hazards, especially if you hunt with your children.
You may think it could never happen to you, but accidental shootings are among the top ten causes of death among children older than infants. In fact, thousands of children and teens end up injured or hospitalized after an accidental shooting, and hundreds die in an average year. There are steps you can take to reduce the risk of such a tragedy occurring in your family this winter.
Naturally, you and your child have taken hunter safety courses, or you have tutored your child about the basic rules for safely carrying, loading and using a weapon. You impress upon your child the vital importance of following safety rules, such as leaving the safety on as long as possible before shooting and keeping your finger off the trigger until it is safe to fire. Additional safety precautions include the following:
- Knowing the hunting laws for Colorado, as well as federal regulations
- Unloading your gun before climbing a tree, walking to the next shooting area or other activities
- Assuming every gun is loaded
- Wearing blaze orange attire to avoid other hunters mistaking you for game
- Being certain of your target and anything that may be beyond your target before firing
- Knowing the safe zone-of-fire
One major difference between big game and small game is the way they move. While a deer or elk may stand still then leap off in a single direction, smaller game escapes more erratically. For example, a duck or quail may fly low, to the right and left without warning, and this may cause a hunter to swing his or her gun outside the safe zone-of-fire.
Careless handling of firearms is one of the most common causes of hunting accidents. While you and your child may drill the rules and practice every safety precaution, you can never be sure that everyone who shares your hunting grounds is as conscientious.
If you or your child is the victim of a hunting accident, you likely have a considerable amount of suffering and struggle ahead. You do not have to carry the burden alone. Seeking legal assistance from an experienced attorney may allow you to pursue justice and compensation from the hunter whose negligence or recklessness cost you dearly.