Donnelle Johnson and Lisa Thompson are Colorado-based outdoorswomen and part of the “Step Up Step Out Colorado Outdoors” mentor organization. They are dedicated to sharing their passion for hunting and taking out novice youth and female hunters on incredible hunts. They are our Project ChildSafe April feature. The pair recommends these rules and tips for hunting geese out of a pit blind. These tips can also be applied for other types of shotgun hunting, including the following set ups: in an above ground blind, in a boat, or, for pheasant hunting and rabbit hunting as well.
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When approaching the pit blind, make sure that your firearm is unloaded, action locked open, and safety is engaged – whether it is cased or not.
Never climb into the pit with your firearm in hand. Either hand it down to a friend with the muzzle in a safe direction, or lay it on the ground with the muzzle pointing away and/or in a safe direction.
When loading your firearm, make sure the muzzle is pointed in a safe direction. ·
When you’re not actively shooting, make sure your firearm is safe and pointed away from yourself, other hunters and dogs.
Designate a pit boss who will call the shots, so you are all moving and shooting in unison.
Know your zones of fire. If you have any questions, just ask!
When there are dogs or hunters in the field retrieving, never shoot over their heads at incoming birds.
Unload your firearm before leaving the pit. Reverse the order, and hand it to someone or place it outside the pit before exiting. Keep it pointed in a safe direction.
Make sure your firearm is unloaded, action locked open and safety engaged before putting it back in your firearm case and into your vehicle.
Hunting out of a blind with a group of friends is some of the most fun you can have afield. With a few simple guidelines, everyone will have a safe and enjoyable experience and have the confidence to branch out to other types of shotgun hunting. Remember, always practice firearm safety in the field and especially when loading and securing firearms in a vehicle for transport.
Courtney Nicolson is an outdoor writer, hunter, and angler based in Denver, Colo. She is an active member of numerous conservation groups and is passionate about empowering women in the outdoors. Courtney is the senior producer/editor for Outdoor Sportsman Group Networks.
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