The Importance of Hunting Safety and the Zone-of-Fire

Hunting SafetyA hunting guide was hospitalized Saturday, March 22, 2014, after he was shot multiple times at a private hunting club in Paradise, Cache County. Craig Bingham, 60, lead a group of nine hunters from Huntsville in a pheasant hunting trip. When a number of birds flew out of hiding, members of the hunting party fired in multiple directions, striking the guide in the eye, hand and thigh. The injuries are not life threatening, but Bingham’s shot to the eye will require surgery.

Even though the incident has been determined to be an accident, it’s important that hunters learn from this and realize the safety involved in the hunt. This is especially true when hunting groups have a large number of hunters, as the zone-of-fire becomes increasingly precarious.

Simply put, the zone-of-fire is the area where a hunter can shoot safely. A zone-of-fire is dependent on a number of factors:

– hunter’s shooting ability

– type of game being hunted

– the hunting environment

– the hunter’s strategy

Zone-of-fire will change with every step, so it is important to respect your fellow hunters and recognize your zone-of-fire as it shifts with the movement of the hunt. This is even more true when hunters hunt smaller game.

It’s considered best to have no more than three hunters in a group, as any more than this can easily raise the potential for danger. For newer hunters, a hunting party of two may be good until everyone is comfortable with maintaining their respected zone-of-fire.

Incidents like the one that happened to Craig Bingham can be avoided if all hunters remained aware of their zone-of-fire. Even if a good group of birds fly into the air, one should have the common sense to not fire if the conditions are unsafe.




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