Dove & Duck Hunters Most Dangerous in the Field
Statistically dove and ducks are among the most dangerous game to hunt, not because of the animals hunted, but because of other hunters.

According to Nevada Division of Wildlife (NDOW) accident reports, more hunters are injured during dove and duck hunts than any other season.

"Our number one cause of hunting accidents, in Nevada, is when one hunter, swinging on game, accidentally shoots another hunter," said Chris Vasey, NDOW Western Region Outdoor Education Coordinator. "We're developing new, high-tech activities to use in our hunter education classes to teach hunters how to avoid this type of accident."

Hunting in Nevada is actually an extremely safe activity. In the last three years, with nearly 70,000 hunters afield, there have only been three accidents, none of them fatal. All three accidents were caused when hunters lost track of their partners while swinging on game.

"It always happens in the rush of the moment," said Vasey, "Sometimes it's hunters getting out of line or walking into the shot or swinging too wide — out of their safe zone of fire." Safe zones of fire dictate the range of motion a hunter can swing, without swinging on another hunter. Safe zones of fire are usually determined as hunters plan how to hunt a specific area and then communicate regularly as they set up their blinds or cross the terrain. It is the primary responsibility of the hunter to be sure of the target and what's in the line of fire.

"There are four simple rules to being safe while hunting," Vasey says. "Always keep your gun pointed in a safe direction. Every gun should be considered loaded, until you check it yourself. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot. Be sure of your target and what lies beyond it."

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