Gun Safety Reminders for Hunting Seasons

RALEIGH — It’s a busy time of year for North Carolina’s hunting community.

Black powder and gun deer hunting seasons open this month, as well as duck, bear, small game and other hunting seasons.

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission’s Home from the Hunt campaign reminds hunters of gun safety tips.

“Always positively identify your target before you pull the trigger,” said Carissa Daniels, manager of engagement and education for the Wildlife Commission.

“It sounds obvious, but it’s easy to let anticipation and excitement cloud your judgment. Collect yourself and be aware of your surroundings. To ensure the safest shot, make sure there are no houses, vehicles, power lines, livestock, or people in front of or behind your target.”

Other important firearm safety rules include:

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* Always point a firearm in a safe direction.

*Treat each firearm as if it were loaded. Never assume a firearm is unloaded.

*Use binoculars, rather than a rifle scope, to identify the target.

*Keep your finger off the trigger guard and off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.

*Be sure of your target, as well as what is in front of and behind it.

Any person who hunts bear, wild hog, rabbit, squirrel, grouse, pheasant, or quail with the use of firearms must wear a cap or hat of hunter orange material or hunter orange outer garment visible from all sides.

Anyone hunting deer during a deer firearm season, regardless of gun, must wear a hunter orange color visible from all sides. This includes archery hunters who hunt on Sundays during deer firearms season.

This requirement does not apply to a landowner, their spouse, and children if they are hunting on the landowner’s property.

People who are not hunters and use the hunting lands, such as hikers and bird watchers, are also encouraged to wear a bright orange color so they can be easily seen by hunters and other users.

For more information on general hunting regulations, hunting seasons, hunting licenses, hunting heritage learner permits, and the Hunter Education Program, visit or call 888-248-6834.