Be smart, be safe

I read a few years ago a sad story of a young boy who accidentally shot his father.

The two were hunting, and while walking behind his father, the boy tripped and discharged his rifle, killing his father. I share this story because some accidents, not all though, can be avoided with some common sense.

I have a few personal rules that I follow, the first is especially true on the opening day of the rifle deer season, which kicks off Monday. That rule involves patience. Not having the patience while waiting for a deer to cross my path, but patience with fellow hunters.

Someone asked me about hunting the other day and I told them, “Opening day is like Black Friday in the woods.” They laughed. I wasn’t kidding. If you hunt public land, you know what I mean.

Another personal safety rule involves loading and unloading. I don’t walk in the dark with a loaded weapon. Why would I need a loaded weapon in the dark? Load up when you get to your stand location.

No. 3. Don’t look at other hunters through your scope. It’s a terrible practice and bad lesson for kids to see.

No. 4. Orange hats. Yes, they are mandatory and the PGC says it’s one of the top violations.

No. 5. Talk to your kids about this tradition of hunting and teach them about the right way to do things in the woods. Like all walks of life, let’s leave the next generation with something better.

Send your success photos to

One of my favorite trail camera photos from this summer. This giant 9 pointer has some very long G3 tines.

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