N.L.’s moose hunters re­minded to use firearms safely

The Packet (Clarenville) - - EDITORIAL -

Fish and Wildlife en­force­ment of­fi­cers in the prov­ince have dealt with over 40 of­fences re­lat­ing to im­proper use of firearms so far this year, ac­cord­ing to the Depart­ment of Fish­eries and Land Re­sources.

Last year, of­fi­cers han­dled 244 firearms-re­lated vi­o­la­tions, the most com­mon be­ing pos­sess­ing a loaded firearm in a ve­hi­cle, shoot­ing from a road­way, shoot­ing near dwellings, hunt­ing within com­mer­cial log­ging op­er­a­tions, and shoot­ing near a school or play­ground.

While the sea­son has been open for a month in the rest of the prov­ince, the day moose hunters in east­ern New­found­land were wait­ing for came this past Satur­day. The provin­cial gov­ern­ment is en­cour­ag­ing hunters to make sure they know the cur­rent firearm reg­u­la­tions and to prac­tice safe firearm use while hunt­ing this sea­son.

Some ba­sic rules of firearm safety are:

- Al­ways point the muz­zle in a safe di­rec­tion;

- Treat every firearm as though it were loaded;

- Un­load firearms when they are not in use;

- Keep the ac­tion open when the firearm is stored;

- En­sure firearms are in a case when trans­port­ing to hunt­ing ar­eas;

- Be sure the bar­rel and ac­tion are clear of ob­struc­tions;

- Be sure to use the proper am­mu­ni­tion for the firearm be­ing used;

- Only point a firearm at the in­tended tar­get and avoid all horse­play;

- Never climb a fence, tree, or jump a ditch with a loaded firearm;

- Never pull a firearm to­ward you by the muz­zle;

- Al­ways at­tempt to con­trol the di­rec­tion of the muz­zle even if you should stum­ble;

- Never shoot a bul­let at a flat, hard sur­face or at wa­ter;

- Store firearms and am­mu­ni­tion sep­a­rately; and

- Avoid al­co­hol and drugs when hunt­ing.

Ad­di­tional hunter safety information and de­tails about laws and reg­u­la­tions gov­ern­ing hunt­ing and firearm us­age in New­found­land and Labrador are out­lined in the 2017-18 Hunt­ing and Trap­ping Guide at the Depart­ment of Fish­eries and Land Re­sources web­site.

SALTWIRE NET­WORK FILE PHOTO

Moose-hunt­ing sea­son opened in east­ern New­found­land this past Satur­day. The sea­son has been open in Labrador and the west­ern por­tion of the is­land since Sept. 9.

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