PUBLISHED: 14:51 03 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:07 28 November 2012
It may seem obvious, but shooting safely is the most important thing.
It may seem obvious, but shooting safely is the most important thing. It should be your first consideration, always. Whenever you have a gun in your hands, you must be constantly aware of safety. Develop your 'muzzle awareness' - always knowing where the muzzles of your gun are pointed.
Here are some very basic rules:
Carrying a shotgun in a slip:
Carrying the gun out of a slip:
Passing a shotgun or crossing an obstacle:
Be seen to be safe - nothing spoils a day's shooting quicker than being out with a shooter who doesn't follow the safety rules. It is much better to be too careful than not careful enough. Above all, use common sense at all times. It is not worth taking any risks.
This is a very old poem, but it is still useful today:
A Fathers Advice
If a sportsman true you'd be
Listen carefully to me. . .
Never, never let your gun
Pointed be at anyone.
That it may unloaded be
Matters not the least to me.
When a hedge or fence you cross
Though of time it cause a loss
From your gun the cartridge take
For the greater safety's sake.
If twixt you and neighbouring gun
Bird shall fly or beast may run
Let this maxim ere be thine
"Follow not across the line."
Stops and beaters oft unseen
Lurk behind some leafy screen.
Calm and steady always be
"Never shoot where you can't see."
You may kill or you may miss
But at all times think this:
"All the pheasants ever bred
Won't repay for one man dead."
Mark Beaufoy - 1902