Hunters Course

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Where is the muzzle located?

On the tip of the gun/barrel

What is the portion of the firearm that loads, fires and ejects a cartridge or shot shell called?


What are the two different types of magazines used on firearms?

tubular and box-type. Box-type magazines are removed from the firearm to load cartridges. Tubular magazines are usually a fixed part of the firearm.

What is the purpose of a magazine on a firearm?

To act as a storage device for cartridges or shot shells

Why is a break-action firearm a good choice for novice hunters?

They have a limit on shots per use

What is the name for the tube-shaped part of a firearm that the bullet or shot travels through after the cartridge is fired?


What is the purpose of a trigger guard on a firearm?

It helps protect the trigger from being accidentally pulled

If hunting with a shotgun in California, what is the maximum number of shells the shotgun can hold at any time?


Which of the following is a characteristic of the single-action revolver?

Cartridges must be loaded and unloaded through the loading gate

What is a characteristic of a break-action pistol?

Most are designed for a single shot

What should the safe and responsible hunter keep in mind when choosing the type of handgun to use for a hunt?

Local hunting regulations

Which of the following is determined by the diameter of a firearm’s bore when measured from land to opposite land?

The caliber of a rifle

How is the caliber of a rifle or handgun determined?

The distance between opposite lands inside the barrel

What information is usually stamped on the side of a rifle’s barrel?

The caliber of the firearm

What are the 4 components of this rifle cartridge?

1. Bullet, 2. Case, 3. Gunpowder, 4. Primer

What is the purpose of a plug in a shotgun?

To limit the number of shells the magazine can hold

What purpose does the case of a rifle or handgun cartridge serve?

To hold all of its components together

What is the purpose of having lands and grooves inside the barrel of a rifle?

To give the bullet or projectile spin to increase accuracy

Which of the following is the most common difference between rifles and shotguns?

Rifles have rifled barrels whereas most shotguns have smoothbore barrels

During what step in the firing process would the gunpowder be ignited?

When the firing pin strikes the primer

What is the most important thing to remember if you happen to stumble or fall while carrying a firearm?

Hold on to the firearm and control the direction of the muzzle

What should be done if you notice the firearm has been damaged or is not working properly?

Take it to a qualified gunsmith for repair

Which of the following is an important safety rule that must be followed while cleaning a firearm?

Keep the firearm unloaded, with the muzzle pointed in a safe direction

What is the first thing a hunter should do every time he or she loads a firearm?

Check the barrel for obstructions

"Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction" is which of the following?

An important rule of firearm safety

Rules of safe firearm handling

Be sure of your target and beyond, treat every firearm as if it were loaded, keep the firearm unloaded until you are ready to hunt, and never point a firearm at something that you don’t intent to shoot.

Which of the following is the best example of safe and responsible carrying or handling of a firearm?

Always making sure the muzzle is pointed in a safe direction

What actions should the safe hunter take in the case of a hangfire (when the trigger is pulled and the firearm does not discharge)?

Keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction and wait at least 60 seconds before unloading

What is the safe hunter’s best resource for information on cleaning their firearm?

The owner’s manual for the firearm

What is true about muzzleloaders?

Muzzleloaders are always loaded from the muzzle end

Where is the hammer located on this muzzleloading firearm?

On the back of the barrel before the stock

When using muzzleloading firearms Fg, FFg, FFFg and FFFFg are examples of what?

Different granulation sizes of black powder

Which tool should always be used to get the projectile started down the barrel?

Bullet Starter

When choosing the projectile to use in a muzzleloader, what factors should the safe hunter take into consideration?

The game being hunted and the manufacturer’s recommendations

What is an important safety consideration when loading a muzzleloader?

Point the muzzle up and away from your face and body when loading

Which of the following describes the best way to remove a stuck projectile from a muzzleloader?

Point the muzzle in a safe direction and use a CO2 bullet discharger to force the bullet out of the barrel

What is a characteristic of a flintlock muzzleloader?

When the trigger is pulled the hammer causes the flint to strike the frizzen, creating a shower of sparks

In what type of situation are broadhead points most often used?

Hunting big game

What is the purpose of the fletching (on the end) on an arrow?

Stabilizes the arrow while in flight.

What is a bow called that features limbs that sweep back and forward at the tips giving it more potential energy?

Recurve bow

What is the purpose of the 150-yard safety zone around any dwelling?

The area where a hunter cannot discharge his or her firearm

What can result when attempting to draw back a bow that has too much draw weight?

You may be unable to draw back the string, or could cause injury to your chest or shoulder

What is nocking an arrow?

Placing the arrow against the bow string until you hear a click

What is illegal in california?

Have a loaded shotgun in a vehicle on a roadway

Before purchasing a bow why is it important to make sure you can pull the bow string back comfortably?

Difficulty in doing so will result in poor shot placement

What is meant by the term ‘Draw Length’?

The distance between the bow string and the grip at full draw

When traveling by any motorized vehicle, how would the safe hunter transport their firearm?

Unloaded, with the action open and in a protective case

When hunting for Wild Turkey, which of the following is an important safety consideration?

Sit with your back against a tree at least as wide as your shoulders

If two hunters are hunting from the same watercraft how should they be seated?

Back to back at different ends of the watercraft

Which of the following is one of the main causes of accidents while hunting from a watercraft?

Standing in the watercraft while shooting

When hunting for wild turkey, why is it important to mark your ground blind or hunting spot with orange blaze?

To identify your presence to other hunters

With regards to a dog’s well being, why is it most important to ensure they remain warm and dry?

Like humans, dogs can experience hypothermia

When crossing a fence or other obstacle alone, what should you do with your firearm once it is unloaded?

Set the firearm on the ground, pointing the muzzle away from where you are crossing

After a person falls in the water, what is the condition called where their body begins to lose heat faster than it can create it?


If you encounter a fence or other obstacle while carrying a firearm, what is the FIRST thing that you should do before crossing?

unload the firearm

If the safe hunter is alone, which of the following would be the safe and correct procedure for boarding a watercraft for a hunting excursion?

Load all firearms and equipment before boarding

What is prone position?

lying on your belly shooting

What should a hunter take into consideration when patterning a shotgun?

Pattern at the different ranges you expect to find game

What shooting position is commonly used when hunting with a shotgun?

standing position

What position is considered to be the least steady?

standing position

What should be considered when sighting in a rifle?

Gravity, air resistance and energy loss all have an effect on the bullet’s trajectory

In order to become an accomplished marksman, what does a hunter need to learn first?

The fundamentals of firearm safety

When hunting with a shotgun, what is the purpose of the swing-through method?

To spread the shot in front of a moving target

Which of the following describes the proper way to fire a shotgun?

Raise the shotgun to the cheek and back to the shoulder, on the side of the dominant eye; point at the target and slap the trigger

When firing a handgun while standing, how should it be held to provide the maximum amount of control?

With both hands out in front of you

What are the 10 commandments of firearm safety?

1.Treat every firearm with the same respect due a loaded firearm. 2. Control the direction of your firearm’s muzzle. 3. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it. 4. Be sure the barrel and action are clear of obstructions. 5. Unload firearms when not in use. 6. Never point a firearm at anything you do not intend to shoot. 7. Never climb a fence or tree, or jump a ditch or log, with a loaded firearm. 8. Never shoot a bullet at a flat, hard surface or water. 9. Store firearms and ammunition separately. 10. Avoid alcoholic beverages or other mood-altering drugs before or while shooting.

What are the 4 primary rules of firearm safety?

watch the muzzle, treat every firearm as if loaded, be sure of the target and what is in front of it and beyond it, keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.

What are the three (3) main factors which might cause the meat on a harvested animal to spoil, making it unsafe to eat?

Heat, Dirt and Moisture

Which of the following should be done by a hunter who is tracking a wounded animal?

Mark the blood trail with blaze orange flagging tape

When participating in a man drive, what is an important consideration that drivers should follow?

They should avoid firing at the animals since they may also be firing in the direction of the stages

What is the purpose of hanging a harvested game animal from a tree or specially designed rack?

To allow air to circulate, cooling the meat quicker

Once an animal is field dressed and transported back to camp, how should the animal be cooled?

Hung from a tree or specially-designed rack

Which of the following best describes the practice of Still Hunting?

A technique where a safe hunter moves slowly through a hunting area looking for game animals

After taking a shot, how long should you wait before attempting to retrieve the game animal?

15 to 20 minutes

What is it called when a hunter follows game, or fresh animal signs from a distance, approaching gradually for a clean shot?


Which of the following best describes the hunting practice of Stalking?

A technique where a safe hunter follows fresh game animal signs or has visually spotted game in the distance

What is meant by "Proper Shot Placement"?

Taking a shot in the vital organs – such as the heart or lungs – to achieve a quick, clean harvest

How should your firearms and equipment be brought into a treestand?

Using a haul line once having reached the top

What type of harness is the safest and most recommended when hunting in a treestand?

Fall Arrest System / Full Body Harness

What is an important consideration for treestand hunters concerning falls from a stand?

It is important to carry emergency signaling devices that are readily accessible. Be prepared for a fall before it happens

What is the purpose of a tether strap?

To connect the safety harness to the tree

What is an important consideration when hunting from a treestand?

Treestands should be regularly inspected, and not used if they show any sign of damage

Once in the treestand which of the following should be done first?

Secure the safety harness

What type of treestand is considered unsafe and should never be used by hunters?

permanent stand

What type of treestand is considered to be safer for the hunter to climb in and out of?

ladder stand

When do you use a tower stand?

When in the corner of a field

Which of the following should all hunters do before using a treestand?

Read all the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations

Which of the following is one of the advantages of using a treestand?

The hunter shoots toward the ground which acts as a backstop

S.T.O.P. is an important acronym that all safe hunters should remember in case they become lost. What does it stand for?

Stop, Think, Observe, Plan

What are the "big three" necessities for outdoor or hunting survival?

Shelter, Fire and Signal

What should be done immediately if a safe hunter is bit by a snake that has been identified as being poisonous?

Seek medical attention

Which of the following statements is true when it comes to proper clothing for a hunting trip?

Most body heat escapes through the head, good head covering is necessary to keep the body warm

Clothing that is made from which of the following materials retains its insulation properties even when wet and is the best for all-around warmth?


If a hunter gets lost, what is necessary?

Keeping a positive mental attitude is crucial in wilderness survival

When the safe hunter is in a survival situation, what is considered an unsafe method of purifying drinking water?

Removing all visible debris

What should you do to stop a wound from bleeding?

Apply direct pressure to the wound

Who should a safe hunter leave a hunting plan with before leaving on a hunting trip?

A responsible family member or friend

What is one of the main purposes of a topographic map?

To provide a graphic representation of the earth’s surface

What best describes wildlife management?

Ensuring the habitat and wildlife can replenish and sustain itself for the enjoyment of all

What is the purpose of hunter education?

To help learn safe and responsible hunting

What is true about hunting laws?

Hunting laws are made to help conserve wildlife populations

What was the purpose of the Pittman-Robertson Act?

To collect and redistribute taxes collected to improve wildlife management practices and to educate hunters.

Which of the following is one of the most important roles played by predatory animals?

They act as a control for other wildlife populations

How can a hunter help wildlife conservation efforts?

By donating to conservation organizations, or helping to build habitats for local wildlife

With regards to the sport of hunting, what is true?

Hunting privileges can be revoked,sport hunting is an effective wildlife management practice, no North American animal has ever gone extinct because of sport hunting, hunters are an important group in wildlife conservation efforts

Which of the following would be an example of the actions of an Ethical hunter?

Always taking a land owners wishes into account

Which of the following is the best definition of "ethics"?

Doing the right thing when no one is watching

What would be an example of the actions of an ethical hunter?

Practicing marksmanship before the hunting season to ensure a clean, swift harvest of a targeted animal

Bolt Action

This firearm has a reputation for high accuracy. It is the strongest action. It is operated by moving the bolt handle up and to the rear to open the action. When the bolt is moved forward, it picks up a fresh cartridge. With the bolt fully forward, push down on it to lock the bolt in place. Engage the safety and you are ready to hunt. Grasp the bolt handle after firing, lifting it up while pulling it towards you. This will eject the spent cartridge from the chamber.Bolt and lever action firearms are found mainly in rifles.

Lever Action

A lever-action firearm usually has a shorter barrel, is lighter to carry, and is easy to operate for follow-up shots. A popular style of action among rifles, it is a good choice if you are hunting in thick brush (remember to cover the trigger guard to protect the trigger). Most lever-actions have a loading gate where the cartridges are pushed into a tubular magazine. To load a cartridge from the magazine, grasp the lever and swing it down and away from you. Make sure that the barrel is pointed in a safe direction. Next, swing the lever up and towards you. This releases a cartridge from the magazine, chambers the cartridge and closes the action. After you load, engage the safety if your lever action has one; otherwise, place the hammer at half-cock position. After firing the lever action, swing the lever down and away from you to eject the cartridge.Bolt and lever action firearms are found mainly in rifles. To load a lever-action, swing the lever down and away from your body.

Pump or Slide Action

Used in both shotguns and rifles, pump action allows a hunter to quickly eject and chamber new ammunition. It is typically loaded from the bottom into a tubular magazine. The action is opened when the forearm is pulled back to the rear of the firearm. Pushing the forearm forward moves the ammunition from the magazine into the chamber and closes the action so that the firearm is loaded and ready to be fired. On most pump-actions, a slide lever located by the trigger guard releases the action so you can inspect the chamber or unload the firearm.

Semi-automatic action

This type of action is used in both shotguns and rifles. Many hunters find this firearm a pleasure to shoot due to its reduced recoil. After the trigger is pulled and a round is fired, the action opens automatically, the spent ammunition is ejected, a new round is chambered, the action closes and the firearm is ready to be fired again. This sequence repeats each time the trigger is pulled. The action remains open automatically when all ammunition stored in the magazine and chamber has been fired.

What happens when you squeeze the trigger?

When squeezed, the trigger releases the firing pin to hit the primer on a firearm’s cartridge, igniting the powder and sending the bullet down the barrel. The trigger guard protects the trigger.

Break action or hinge action

This firearm is available in single-barrel or double-barrel styles and is ideal for novice hunters due to the limit it places on shots per use. Most firearms with this type of action feature two barrels placed either side-by-side or in an over-and-under configuration. For loading, push on the action release lever and pivot the barrels down. The chamber will then be separated from the stock and firing mechanism so ammunition can be inserted. Once you close the action and release the safety, the firearm is ready for firing. After firing, press the release lever to open the action and eject the spent cartridge or shotshell. Some break-actions have automatic ejectors, others require that you manually remove the spent cartridge or shotshell. Break actions for rifles and shotguns may be designed to accommodate a wide variety of interchangeable barrels for rimfire and centerfire ammunition.

Rimfire Cartridge

1. Projectile (bullet): material that is fired from a firearm or bow. Can be a bullet, slug, shot or arrow. 2. Case: metal container that holds all the components of a firearm cartridge together. 3. Gunpowder: high energy propellant that creates high pressure when ignited. 4. Primer (on inside rim of casing base): an explosive compound used to ignite a larger gunpowder charge.

Centerfire cartridge

projectile, case, gunpowder, primer inserted in casing base

Projectile (Bullet)

In rifles and handguns, a bullet serves as the projectile. It fits into the top of the cartridge case and is fired through the barrel of the firearm. The bullet is usually made out of lead and may have a copper jacket. The most common types for hunting are the pointed soft point, rounded soft point, hollow point and polymer tip.


A metal container that holds all of the components together, usually made of brass, aluminum or steel.


A high-energy propellant of a specific quantity (charge) that, when ignited, creates a high pressure inside the case. This pressure sends the bullet or projectile down the barrel of the firearm to exit at the muzzle.


An explosive compound used to ignite the gunpowder charge.

How a centerfire cartridge is fired?

Rifle bores (inside a firearm’s barrel) have lands (ridges between grooves inside a rifled barrel) and grooves (the spiral cuts in a rifles’s bore) that spiral down the entire length of the barrel, giving the bullet or projectile a spin, which stabilizes it as it travels down the barrel. It works much the way that a football spirals when thrown by a quarterback.

Steps in firing a centerfire cartridge

1. cartridge is loaded into chamber. 2. action is closed and projectile is ready to be fired. 3. Firing pin makes contact with primer and ignites gunpowder creating high pressure. 4. Rapidly accumulating high pressure from the burning gunpowder pushes projectile out of barrel.

What is a data stamp?

stamp on the firearm’s barrel, and on the base of the ammunition indicating caliber or gauge.

What is a caliber?

the distance between opposite lands inside the barrel of a rifle or handgun.

Distances different calibers travel

.22 short….almost 1 mile .22 LRHV…1 mile .22 WIN MAG…almost 1.5 miles .222…more than 2 miles .243…almost 3 miles .270…almost 3 miles 7 mm Mag…about 3.5 miles 30-30…almost 2 miles .308…2.5 miles 30-06…about 3.4 miles 300 savage…almost 3 miles

Centerfire shotshell

-hull/casing (shot shell-part used to contain all other parts of a shotgun shell) -projectiles: shots or pellets -wad column (piece of plastic or paper inside a shot shell that separates the projectiles and powder, ensuring no gas escpaes from the burning powder) -powder -primer

Centerfire Slugshell (single lead projectile…used for hunting big game)

-hull/casing -projectile: slug -wad column -powder -primer


Also known as a shot shell, the casing is a plastic tube shaped container that holds all of the shell components together. They come in a variety of sizes and colors.

Projectile: shot pellets or slug

Most shotshells are loaded with multiple shot or pellets as the projectiles. Most cartridges loaded with shot or pellets are used for hunting upland game birds or waterfowl, as well as for target shooting. There are a variety of different shot types available, such as; Lead, Steel, Bismuth, Tungsten-Iron, and Tungsten-Matrix. Lead shot is not permitted for hunting waterfowl in North America, because lead is a toxic substance that contaminates soils as well as surface and ground waters, and can cause lead poisoning in different species as well as damage to the habitat. Please check your local regulations to ensure you are using the proper type of shot for the animal you will be hunting. Shotshells loaded with slugs are used for big game.

Wad column

Placed between the powder and the projectiles, it is made of plastic or paper and provides a seal so that the gases from the burning powder do not escape past the shot.


A high-energy propellant of a specific quantity that, when ignited, creates a high pressure gas inside the cartridge case. This pressure forces the bullet or projectile down the barrel of the firearm to exit at the muzzle.

how a shotgun shell is fired

a shotgun used for shotshells features a smoothbore barrel, meaning that there is no rifling. When a shotshell is fired, all of the tiny round pellets travel down this smooth bore to the target. The degree of sphericity or roundness of each pellet determines how the pellets fly. step 1: shell is loaded into chamber 2: action is closed and shell is ready to be fired 3: firing pin makes contact with primer and causes primer mix to explode in the shell. 4: rapidly accumulating high pressure from the burning gunpowder pushes projectile out of the barrel.

Data stamp for shotguns

Like rifles, shotguns have a data stamp usually located on the right or left side of the barrel. It indicates the gauge and maximum length of the shotshell that can be fired safely. Gauge and shell length are also shown on the shell base and box. A shotgun used for shot features a smoothbore barrel, meaning that there is no rifling. Rifles can be used for short and long distances. Shotguns are highly accurate for shorter distances.


spiraled lands and grooves inside a firearm’s bore (usually rifles and handguns) give the bullet a spin as it moves down the barrel and out toward the target, increasing accuracy.

Magazine Plug

A magazine plug is usually made of wood and is found in a tubular magazine. It is used to limit the number of shot shells a shotgun can hold. In California, if you hunt with a shotgun it cannot be capable of holding more than three shells at a time.

Gauge vs. caliber

gauge: the number of lead balls of diameter equal to the size of the firearm’s bore, required to weigh one pound. caliber: the distance between opposite lands inside the barrel of a rifle or handgun.

What type of shotgun is not a gauge?

.410. the actual diameter measurement of the barrel is .410


A choke helps to hold the shot string together, controlling its spread when it leaves the barrel. Older shotguns have a fixed choke while modern shotguns feature a screw-in choke system that allows you to change between different types of chokes, giving the user the advantage of being able to make use of one shotgun with different chokes for different types of game and sport shooting. To change a choke, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.A Shot String is a pattern of what the pellets would look like if you were able to take a picture of the shot on its way to the target. When the pellets leave the barrel, they separate from each other due to the force of air resistance. The more the shot separates, the less effective the pellets are in taking game at longer distances, but all the better for closer shots. Using a choke will allow you to control how much the pellets are separated at certain distances.

Full choke

This is the tightest choke and therefore has the tightest shot pattern. It keeps the pellets together over a greater distance and is therefore used for longer shots, generally beyond 40 yards.

Modified choke

This choke is not as tight as the full choke and is used for mid-range shots, usually between 30 and 40 yards.

Improved cylinder choke

This choke barely controls the spread of the shot and is used for shots between 20 to 30 yards.

Saboted slugs (designed to be shot from a rifled shotgun or shotgun with a rifled choke tube)

A saboted slug is designed to be fired from rifled barreled shotguns or shotguns with a rifled choke tube. As the saboted slug exits the shotgun muzzle, the sabot is separated from the slug and falls away, allowing the slug to continue down range unimpeded. This type of shotgun ammunition is very accurate and provides plenty of knockdown power for most big game at ranges up to 150 yds.

Foster type slugs (designed to be fired from a smooth barrel shotgun)

The foster slug is used for hunting targets at longer distances. The hollow rear on this slug pushes its center of gravity toward the front, which in turn gives it greater stability, up to a distance of 75 yards. Most will feature small fins toward the rear, called "rifling".

traditional slugs

look like screws.

Centerfire vs. Rimfire

Centerfire and rimfire cartridges primarily differ on the location of the primer. Centerfire cartridges have the primer inserted into the cartridge base whereas rimfire cartridges have the primer on the inside rim of the cartridge base.

Why are shotgun slugs used in semi-rural areas?

Shotgun slugs are used in semi-rural areas since they tend to travel less far than high-power rifle cartridges. To increase a slug’s accuracy, it is recommended to use a shotgun with a rifled barrel, or to use a rifled choke.


Located on the trigger guard, it blocks the trigger or the hammer when engaged. It may have a visible red band when the safety is off.

Slide or tang safety

It features two positions of operation. In the ON position (i.e., a green colored dot or the letter "S" may be visible) it blocks the firing mechanism of a rifle or shotgun. In the OFF position (i.e., a red colored dot or the letter "F" may be visible) it enables firing of a cartridge or shot shell. A Tang safety, featured on some models of shotguns, is engaged when the letter "S" is visible on top and in the back of the receiver.

When is the safety off?

When red is visible! RED MEANS DEAD!

Lever or pivot safety

Located either on the bolt or just behind the bolt handle on the frame of the receiver, it blocks the firing pin when engaged. On some firearms, the lever safety located on the bolt will have three positions. The back position (i.e., toward the shooter), does not allow the bolt to be opened, and the firearm will not fire. In the middle position, the bolt can be cycled, but the firearm cannot be fired. In the forward position, the safety is OFF, and the firearm can be fired. Other safeties feature only two positions – ON and OFF. These types of safeties are marked either with green and red dots or with an "F" for fire or an "S" for safe.

Hammer at half-cock safety

This type of safety is not as common as those listed above. It is typically found among lever action and break action firearms or antique and replica firearms. In the half-cock position, the hammer does not rest on the firing pin and the trigger is locked. When the hammer is pulled all the way back into the cocked position, the firearm can be fired. Be sure to check the owner’s manual as some manufacturer’s firearms are only safe when the hammer is in the "fully forward" position.

What are the different types of firearm handling?

two-hand carry, shoulder carry, trail carry, cradle carry, sling carry, elbow carry

two-hand carry

Provides the best control of the firearm. One hand holds the firearm’s grip and the other is on the forearm of the firearm. This is sometimes referred to as the ready carry. It gives the hunter the best control of the muzzle, and the firearm can be shouldered quickly.

shoulder carry

A useful carry when using a break action firearm. One hand is placed on the barrel as shown, while the action is open and rested on your shoulder. This carry allows for good muzzle control while walking longer distances. A different type of shoulder carry is used with rifles – where one hand is holding the firearm’s grip, barrel resting on your shoulder and the muzzle is pointed behind you. Only use this type of carry if you are absolutely certain that no one is behind you.

trail carry

Use this carry only when no one is in front of you. Grasp the stock with one hand, just in front of the action. Ensure the muzzle is pointed away and in front of you. This positions the muzzle toward the ground but does not offer good control of the firearm. Be careful that the muzzle does not hit the ground – if it does, you have to check the barrel for an obstruction.

cradle carry

Placing the firearm across your chest, rest its action in the bend of your arm. Next, grasp the butt of the firearm with your other hand or cover the trigger guard. It’s a very comfortable position. If there is another hunter walking beside you, make sure that each muzzle is pointed in a safe direction.

sling carry

This takes advantage of the sling attachments on your firearm. Attach a sling, making sure it fits, and place the rifle over your shoulder while grasping the sling with your hand. This is a great carry when traveling over long distances. If you bend over to pick up an object, remember that the muzzle is now pointed in front of you.

elbow carry

Place the butt of the firearm in your armpit and let the forearm of the firearm rest on your arm. The muzzle is pointed down and in front of you. This is also a very comfortable position but does not give you very good control of the muzzle. Remember that when you turn right or left, the muzzle will follow you.

Zones of fire

Hold your arms out in front of you at a 45-degree angle. As you look in front of you, the area in front of you starts out small and gets progressively larger into the distance. Your safe zone of fire is the space between your outstretched arms. It is important that you never swing the muzzle out of this zone of fire. If you do, there’s a chance you will be pointing the muzzle of your firearm at another hunter.


This occurs when the trigger is pulled and the firearm does not fire. It’s caused either by a weak firing pin or a defective primer that fails to ignite the powder charge.


This occurs when the trigger is pulled and the firearm is delayed in firing. It’s caused by a temporary failure of the primer to ignite the powder charge.

Squib load or "pop fire"

This occurs when the trigger is pulled and you hear only a slight pop and do not feel any recoil. It is usually caused by not having a powder charge in the cartridge or shotshell. When any of these occur, keep the muzzle of the firearm pointed in a safe direction. Wait about 30 seconds, unload the firearm and take it to a gunsmith for inspection and repair.

Transport firearms safely in CA

It is every hunter’s responsibility to safely transport firearms in any vehicle. In California, it is illegal to possess any loaded shotgun or long gun in a vehicle on any way open to the public. This includes, but is not limited to, any road, parking lot, trails or open fields.

Adhere to legal hunting hours in CA

Legal shooting hours for big game in California are from one half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset.

Safety zone in CA

According to the California Fish Game Code, it is illegal to discharge while hunting, any firearm within 150 yards of any dwelling. This 150 yard area is known as a ‘safety zone’.

Cleaning a firearm

Always follow these safety rules when cleaning any firearm: -Keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. -Ensure the firearm is unloaded. -Clear the workbench of any material you do not need for cleaning. -Move all ammunition to a separate location. -Make sure your work area has adequate light and ventilation -Wear some type of eye and hand-protection gear.

Materials used for cleaning a firearm

When cleaning firearms, always clean from the breech end if possible. This will push out all powder residue and cleaning solution out the muzzle and prevent damage to the muzzle crown. Disassemble your firearm according to manufacturer’s recommendations. -cleaning patches that fit the bore size of the firearm, a firearm holder to hold the firearm firmly in a horizontal position, cleaning rods or a bore snake, gunsmithing screwdrivers, brass or nylon brushes that fit onto the cleaning rods, a slotted tip or jag or cleaning patches, a short copper cleaning brush or an old toothbrush, bore light/light pipe, latex gloves, eye-protection gear, clean rags, gun cleaning solvents, oil and grease.

6 east steps to cleaning a firearm

1.Attach a cleaning brush that is the same size as the caliber or gauge of your firearm onto a cleaning rod. Pour a small amount of cleaning solution into an open container, such as a film canister, and dip the brush into the cleaning solution. Dipping the brush directly into the bottle of cleaning solution will contaminate the entire supply. 2. Place the cleaning rod with a brush attached into the bore and work the brush down the entire length of the barrel. 3. Remove the cleaning brush from the cleaning rod and attach the slotted patch holder onto the cleaning rod. Attach a clean patch onto the slotted patch holder and run the patch down the entire length of the barrel. Next, use the bore light to inspect the action and bore. If you spot any more residue, use another patch until it’s completely clean. 4. Attach a clean, well-oiled patch onto the slotted patch holder and run it down the entire length of the barrel. The oil will prevent rust in the barrel. Your barrel is now clean! 5. Use a copper cleaning brush and work it around the bolt, bolt face and action to remove any powder residue. Wipe the bolt and action clean and apply a thin coat of oil. 6. Wipe down the entire firearm with a lightly oiled rag to clean and protect the outside surface.

Alternate ways to clean your firearm

If the firearm has interchangeable barrels, remove the barrel and clean as previously indicated. If the firearm cannot be cleaned from the breech as with the lever-action firearm, you will have to clean it from the muzzle end. You can place a patch or a thin cloth in the action so that residue does not fall into the trigger and safety assemblies.

Storing a firearm

If you have firearms in your home, protect your family and friends by ensuring that both your firearms and ammunition are legally and safely stored at all times. A gun safe is like a mini version of a bank safe – some are even fireproof. It is the best storage option. Not only does it protect firearms from being stolen, it keeps them out of the hands of careless adults and children alike. It also keeps them safe in the event of a break in; if your firearms fall into the wrong hands, you may be held responsible! All firearms should be stored in one secure location. Ammunition should be stored separately, but also in a secure location.

Compound Bow

This is the bow of choice for a majority of archery hunters. Using wheels and cams, it allows the hunter to hold the bow at full draw for a longer period of time for the best shot – a significant advantage over other bow styles. As the hunter begins to draw the bow, the string starts to turn the wheel and cam that is attached to the bow limbs. The hunter pulls the full draw weight until the cam turns over, letting off the full draw weight. When the cam turns over, the draw weight is decreased by 50 to 80%. This decrease in draw weight, achieved by the cam turning over, allows the hunter to hold less draw weight at full draw. There are add-ons to help reduce the effects of vibration – a common drawback of this style of bow.

What are the 4 parts of a compound bow?

stabilizer, sight, arrow rest, vibration dampener


Adding a stabilizer adds forward weight, to balance the bow and absorb the vibrations when the string is released.


A mechanical device to help the archer to place a shot.

Arrow Rest

A device that holds the arrow above the arrow shelf.

Vibration Dampener

Will help absorb vibration caused when firing the bow. Will also help reduce shock and excess noise.

Recurve Bow

This bow features limbs that sweep back and then forward at the tips toward both the bow string and the grip. It is easier for the novice archer to use, since its curved limbs give it more potential energy. When pulling back a recurve to a full draw, an archer experiences less hand shock and vibration than with a long bow. However, unlike the compound bow, this bow does not have a "let off point" meaning that the archer will still feel the total draw weight of the bow throughout the entire draw. When the string is released, the limbs and string move in a forward direction. The stored energy in both parts of the limb is released very quickly, propelling the arrow to the target at high speed.

Long Bow

This is a large, powerful, lightweight bow. For a novice archer, it is more difficult to use than other bow styles. Not all long bows have an arrow shelf for an arrow rest. Nor do they shoot as fast as the recurve or compound bow. It also does not have a "let-off point". This means the archer feels the total draw weight of the bow through the entire draw. When the string is drawn back, energy is stored in the limbs until the archer releases the bow string, propelling the arrow to the target at high speed. Bow hunters who prefer a more traditional hunt with the recurve and long bows may have the least possible accessories or additional parts on bows in order to increase the challenge when hunting. Bow hunters who use the compound bow, by contrast, may add several accessories to support accurate, quiet shooting on game. Whichever bow you choose to use, remember to always follow manufacturer’s instructions for safe handling and use of your bow.

Stringing a bow

The safest way to string a long bow or recurve bow is to use a bow stringer. The first time you string a bow, you should have an experienced bowhunter present to show you how to do it correctly. Practice is key to developing this skill.

Parts of a bow

Grip, limbs, string groove

Grip on a bow

Allows the hunter to hold the bow in a vertical position while shooting. For bows with a wrist strap, the proper way to grip is with a relaxed handgrip. For other bows, fingertips are curled resting lightly on the front of the grip. The force of the bow, at full draw, holds the grip in the palm of the archer’s hand. If the archer grips the bow too tightly, it tends to throw the arrow left or right or up and down.

Limbs on a bow

The upper or lower part of the bow that bends when the string is drawn back. The limbs store the energy when the bow is held at full draw. Never release a bow string without an arrow nocked in place. This is called "dry firing" a bow. Doing so can cause serious damage to the bow and/or injury to the shooter and bystanders.

String groove on a bow

Found on the limp tip of Long Bows and Recurve Bows. The groove keeps the bow string in place.

Parts of a bow string

bow string, string silencer, kisser button, serving, nock locator, release aid loop

Bow string

Attaches to the limbs of a long bow or recurve bow. Attaches to the cable for a compound bow. Has a center nock locator for nocking (positioning) an arrow.

string silencer

An elastic material may be added to the string, resulting in a reduction in string noise and vibration. A string silencer is not used on a long bow.

Kisser button

A small plastic button that attachs to the bow string. At full draw it will touch the archers lips to provide another point of reference for the anchor position.


The wrapping of material in the center of the string to protect the string from wear. The nock locator attaches to the serving.

Nock locator

The mark or device that indicates where the arrow is to be placed on the string. It is located on the serving area of the string.

Release aid loop

A release aid can be used in combination with a mechanical release for a more accurate shot.

Types of releases

mechanical release, shooting glove

Mechanical Release

Functions like the trigger on a gun to ensure a decisive, frictionless release of the string for greater accuracy.

shooting glove

A glove like attachment for the shooter’s hand that can support a smooth release of the string while protecting your fingers.

Arm guards

Arm guards are available in various shapes, sizes and designs. They are used on whichever arm is holding the bow to help keep loose clothing tucked away, and to help prevent "burning" from the friction of the bow string rubbing against the arm when it is released. A proper stance or position by the shooter will also help prevent the released bow string from "burning" the arm holding the bow.

Types of arm guards

large surface arm guard, light weight arm guard

Large surface arm guard

will help keep clothing tucked away

Light weight arm guard

the design allows ventilation when hunting in warm weather

5 parts of an arrow

arrow point, arrow shaft, crest, fletching (index vane), nock

What can arrows be made out of?

wood, fiberglass, aluminum or carbon.

Arrow point

This is the point or tip of the arrow. The particular arrow point you choose is determined by the game species you will be hunting.

Arrow shaft

Main structural component of the arrow, to which all other parts are attached. The stiffness of the shaft is called the spine. Make sure the arrow is matched to your bow’s poundage and your draw length.


Markings indicating the manufacturer of the arrow, the model number of the arrow shaft and in some cases the specific arrow measurements for the diameter and thickness.


Constructed either of plastic or real feathers, it provides stability for the arrow when in flight. The fletching is made up of three or four vanes per arrow.


Generally constructed from plastic, featuring a notch in one end to attach the arrow to the string.

What is the index vane on an arrow?

The different colored fletching should be pointed down.

Covered Quiver

All arrows should be carried safely in a covered quiver. Covered quivers are a convenient and easy way to carry your arrows, giving you quick access while protecting the broadheads and preventing injury. Certain types of quivers can also protect both the arrows and fletching from damage.

Types of arrow points

bullet points, blunt points, field points, judo points, fishing points, broadhead points

what are bullet points used for?

target practice

what are blunt points used for?

used for small game and are made of metal or rubber

what are field points used for?

used for target practice

what are judo points used for?

used mostly in grassy areas for small game

what are fishing points used for?

used mostly for bow fishing and feature barbs to hold the fish to the arrow

what are broadhead points used for?

used for big game and generally have interchangeable blades that can either be in a fixed position or a newer type, which opens only on impact.

Draw length of a bow

Draw length describes the distance between the bow string and the grip at full draw. Bows come in different draw lengths, the most common being 26 inches, 27 inches, 28 inches and 29 inches. When purchasing a bow, it is very important to have it properly fitted by a reputable dealer. Every bow has a label describing how the bow is set up, with the string and cable length. It is usually located on the inside of the lower limb.

Draw weight of a bow

Draw weight describes the maximum amount of weight needed to pull a bow string completely back. The draw weight is measured in pounds. When purchasing a bow, be sure you can pull it back comfortably. The bow string should be pulled back in a smooth motion to full draw. If you have to struggle, the draw weight is too high and will result in poor shot placement.

what happens when drawing a bow that has too much draw weight on it?

Drawing back a bow that has too much draw weight may result in pulled muscles in your chest and shoulder areas or other damage to your shoulder.

What happens if a bow does not fit the draw length?

Drawing a bow back that does not fit your draw length may result in damage to your bow.

What is the anchor point?

The location of the archer’s face, mouth or jaw at full draw where the drawing hand is positioned to provide the archer with a consistent anchor point for each shot.

Shooting a bow and arrow

Grasp an arrow just in front of the fletching and place it on the arrow rest. Line up the slot of the nock, ensuring the fletching is in the correct position for your arrow rest. Gently push the nock onto the string under the nock locator until you hear a click. This is called "nocking the arrow". Assume a shooting position, looking at the target. You can aim either by choosing your target instinctively or by attaching a mechanical sight to the bow for reference. Pull smoothly at the bow string to a full draw, anchoring the string to your anchor point. In a smooth motion while keeping your bow arm steady, release the string and hold your shooting position until the arrow hits the target. Bow hunters practice on a regular basis to maintain a high level of skill with shooting their bow. They will practice in conditions similar to those that are likely to be experienced in the field; with target arrows and also with the particular kind of arrow point they tend to use for hunting, as for example, the broadhead for hunting larger game, like deer.

Compound crossbow

Though it works on the same principle as a compound bow with wheels and cams, the Compound Crossbow has a unique design. It features a trigger mechanism that holds the string in place until the archer releases its projectile, known as the bolt. A crossbow frame resembles a rifle stock and features a top rail for attaching a telescopic sight. The bolt rests on the rail and is held in place by a retention spring. The limbs function similar to a compound bow, but are much shorter. Before using, read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. cant use for hunting

Recurve crossbow

The Recurve is another popular style of crossbow. Similar to the recurve bow, it features limbs that sweep back and forward at the tips, giving it more potential energy. There are no wheels or cams to break and no cables and cable savers to change. Recurve Crossbows are also generally lighter than the compound crossbows. This style also uses a bolt which is held in place by a retention spring. Before using, read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

What is the safest way to unload a crossbow?

The safest way for a hunter to unload a crossbow is to fire the bolt into a suitable target or rock-free ground (avoiding stones and debris). You should carry a practice bolt with a field point and use it for unloading.Do not have your crossbow in the cocked position while traveling to and from your hunting site.

What arrow head do you use for hunting big game?


When to wear blaze orange

Although camouflage is an essential part to hunting, Hunter, or Blaze Orange is usually ALWAYS required when hunting medium to large size game animals. Since fluorescent orange is not present in the natural world it is an excellent safety measure. It is clearly visible in both bright sunlight and in poor lighting conditions. When hunting big game or upland birds (Quail, Partridge, etc.) make sure there is Blaze Orange coverage on your front, back, both sides and head when you are in the field. When hunting waterfowl and turkey, only wear hunter orange when going to, and coming from your hunting location.

How to cross a fence alone?

Safe hunters always unload their firearms before crossing an obstacle, then they reload after the obstacle has been safely crossed. 1. unload your firearm first 2. while protecting the muzzle from debris, place your firearm on the ground with the muzzle pointed in a safe direction away from where you plan to cross the fence. 3. Cross the fence away from the muzzle, retrieve your firearm, check the barrel for obstructions, load, engage the safety and continue your hunt.

How to cross a fence with another person?

1. If you are crossing a fence or other obstacle with another hunter, unload all firearms first. Pass your firearm to the other hunter with the action open and visible. 2. Once the second hunter is safely holding both firearms, the first hunter may cross the fence. 3. Once safely across, the unloaded firearms are handed to the hunter who has crossed the fence. The muzzle should always be pointed in a safe direction. 4. With the muzzles still pointing in a safe direction, the second hunter can now cross the fence. After crossing, Now that you’ve crossed safely, load your firearm, engage the safety and continue your hunt.

Safety rules for hunting with dogs

When hunting with a dog, everyone in the hunting party must treat the dog as a fellow hunter. Always be aware of where the dog is, and adhere to both vertical and horizontal zones of fire as well as identification of the target, and what lies in front of, and beyond, that target. Any leashes or tethers that you might be using to transport the dog MUST be removed from the dog while hunting.A hunting dog should always wear a collar, which includes information such as the dog’s name, and the owner’s phone number. Blaze orange vests made out of cloth and neoprene can be purchased for the hunting dog to wear, which will help other hunters see the dog, and can also help keep the dog warm and protect them from injury. For large and small game animals, beagles and hounds are used to run game animals in the direction of a hunter. When released, the dog travels through the cover and moves the game towards the hunter or hunters staged at certain locations. This technique works well in thick cover or a swamp that a hunter cannot walk through.

Most common causes of hunting-related incidents that involve watercraft

-Not following proper firearm safety and handling rules -Standing in watercraft while shooting -Not wearing an approved personal flotation device -Slipping or falling when entering or exiting watercraft -Not knowing the safety rules for safe watercraft handling

Watercraft safety rules

-Plan your route:When operating watercraft, it’s important to have a plan that covers where you are going to launch and land your boat, as well as an estimate of when you expect to return from your hunting trip. A safe hunter shares this plan with a family member or friend and keeps a copy in their car or truck. -Examine your watercraft and licensing requirements: Before embarking on a hunting trip, make sure that your watercraft is large enough to safely carry all hunters in your party, as well as all equipment. Also check local laws to see if a boating course is required before operating watercraft for hunting. -Check your equipment: Do you have enough Personal Flotation Devices for all members of your hunting party? What type should you have? -Safely Board a Watercraft: If you are hunting alone, place all of the firearms and equipment in the watercraft before boarding. Also be sure to put on your Personal Flotation Device before boarding. For groups, start by having one hunter board the watercraft while a second holds and steadies the watercraft. Once the first hunter is seated, the other can hand over all firearms and equipment for stowing. -Safely transport firearms in the watercraft: Just like in a vehicle, all firearms transported in any watercraft should be unloaded, actions open, cased and pointed in a safe direction. -Observe and respect zones of fire in a watercraft: When hunting from watercraft, it is crucial that you observe and respect zones of fire. This zone is always in front of the shooter. If there are two hunters and both are hunting, they should be sitting back to back.If only one member of a group is hunting, that hunter should sit at the front of the watercraft. The others should sit at the rear to control the speed and direction of the watercraft. Consult local laws for regulations regarding the use of a watercraft while hunting. -Pack appropriate clothing: Ensure that you pack specialized clothing to keep you warm and dry. -Tie down equipment in the watercraft: This is an extra precaution for when you expect to encounter rough waters. Your equipment will not be thrown overboard or lost if the watercraft capsizes. -Exit all watercraft safely: If you are alone, exit the watercraft and secure the landing first, then retrieve all firearms and hunting gear. For groups, one hunter should exit first and steady the watercraft for others on board. Always use 3 points of contact and keep your body low. Once the watercraft is secured, all firearms and hunting gear can be retrieved. -Know what to do if your watercraft capsizes: If your watercraft capsizes, stay with it. Most will remain buoyant even when full of water. If you have a whistle connected to your Personal Flotation Device, use it to signal another person. If you are planning on hunting on or around water, you owe it to yourself to learn how to swim – it could save your life. If you are not very far from shore, slowly make your way back to shore. Get warm and dry fast.

California law about boats

In California, no person shall pursue, drive, herd or take any bird or mammal from any type of motor-driven air or land vehicles, motorboat, airboat, sailboat, or snow mobile, except when the motor of such motorboat, airboat or sailboat has been shut off and or the sails furled and its progress there from has ceased and it is drifting or resting at anchor or is being propelled by paddle, oar or pole.

What are the different types of personal flotation devices?

***Type 1 (offshore life jacket) Type 2 (near-shore buoyant vest) Type 3 (flotation aid) Type 4 (throwable device) Type I offshore life jacket, type II near-shore buoyant vest, type III flotation aid, type IV throwable device, type III flotation aid sportsman coat, type III inflatable flotation aide, type III flotation aid sportsman suit

When do you wear type I offshore life jackets?

Worn in all water, especially open, rough or remote waters where rescue can be delayed

When do you wear type II near-shore buoyant vests?

Worn near shore in calm, inland water where there is a good chance of rescue

When do you wear type II flotation aids?

Worn in calm, inland water where there is a good chance of rescue

When do you use a type IV throwable device?

Used in calm, inland water where help is present. It is kept onboard to assist anyone who should fall into the water. The type IV PFD is not designed to be worn and thus, is not a substitute for the wearable PFD required for everyone onboard a watercraft.

When do you wear type III flotation aid?

Worn as a jacket in calm, inland water where there is a good chance of rescue

When do you wear a type III flotation aid sportsman coat?

Worn in calm, inland water where there is a good chance of rescue

When do you wear a type III inflatable flotation aid?

Automatically inflates when immersed in water or when the activation cord is pulled. It is used in calm, inland water where there is a good chance of rescue

When do you wear a type III flotation aid sportsman suit?

Worn in calm, inland water where there is a good chance of rescue

What does capsizing of boats most often caused by?

Capsizing is most often caused by overloading, poorly secured loads, improper boat handling and anchoring or loss of power/steerage. In order to prevent cold water immersion, be sure not to overload vessels and always take weather and water conditions into consideration when operating. Falls overboard can be avoided by remaining seated and limiting how much you move around a boat when it is underway.

Stages and effects of water immersion

Step 1 – Initial Immersion Cold Water "Shock":If a person falls into cold water – their body’s initial reaction is a ‘gasp reflex’ which can include hyperventilation and muscle spasms. This initial reaction can result in water inhalation as well as significant changes in heart rate and blood pressure. These initial effects are present for the first two or three minutes of immersion. Step 2 – Short-Term Immersion – Impaired Function: In cold water, you may begin to experience the loss of basic motor skills after only a few minutes. Between 3 and 30 minutes after immersion a person’s hands quickly lose strength and sensation and subsequently their ability to swim (even strong swimmers). In cold water immersion cases, boaters often drown as a result of swimming failure before hypothermia ever has the chance to set in. Step 3 – Longer Term Immersion – Immersion Hypothermia: Following 30 or more minutes of immersion, hypothermia (a drop in body temperature below the normal level) will begin to set in. The persons overall body temperature will continue to drop until it reaches the same temperature of the water. As the body’s core temperature falls, a person will eventually lapse into unconsciousness. Step 4 post rescue collapse: a drop in blood pressure which may lead a person to become unconscious or to stop breathing at the point of rescue or up to several hours afterward.

Surviving coldwater

If rescue is not imminent, your number one priority is to get yourself out of the water as soon as possible. You can do this either by climbing onto your capsized boat or any other floating objects, or if it is within reach by swimming to shore. The sooner you can get your body out of the water the greater your chances of survival will be. If you manage to make it to shore, be careful not to try and stand up if the current is too strong. Doing so can result in a shallow-water drowning – where a person’s feet get caught in rocks or sand on the bottom, and the strong current forces their upper body underwater, causing the person to drown. If rescue is imminent – you should conserve energy and body heat. You may extend your survival time by wearing your lifejacket.

What does H.E.L.P. stand for when submerged in cold water?

‘heat escape lessening posture.’ You want to keep as much body heat as possible from escaping. If you are alone, cross your arms tightly against the chest and bring your knees up close to the chest

What do you do if more than one person falls in the water?

If other passengers are in the water as well, use the ‘Huddle’ technique to maintain body heat. Get the sides of everyone’s chest close together with arms around the back and legs intertwined.

Wild turkey hunting safety

always wear blaze orange when heading to and from hunting site, always identify target and what is beyond it, do not wear red, white, blue or black. Sit with your back against a tree at least as wide as your shoulders.Clearly mark all sides of your blind or hunting spot with blaze orange.Do not shoot at sound.When another hunter approaches do not move. Shout out loudly to identify yourself Never stalk a turkey. Call them to you. The sounds you hear might be another hunter.Do not place decoys where you may be in the line of fire of another hunter. Carry your turkey out of the woods in a bag or wrapped in blaze orange cloth.

What are male turkeys called and how much do they weigh?

Toms or gobblers and 15-25 lbs

What are female turkeys called and how much do they weigh?

Hens and 7-11 lbs

What is it called when someone is proficient at firing a firearm?


What are the fundamentals of safe shooting?

Observe safe firearm handling rules.Learn how to properly adjust sights on a rifle.Learn different shooting positions.Learn how to pattern a shotgun.Learn how to point and shoot a shotgun. Understand that practice is one of the keys to safe shooting.

What are the different types of sights?

Telescopic, aperture or peep sight, open sight

Telescopic sight

Consisting of a main tube with lenses to magnify distant objects, it has line reticles for lining up the center of a target (i.e., where the horizontal and vertical reticles meet). This sight is mounted on top of the barrel or action of a firearm. Since it is easy to use, it is a good choice for novice hunters. The telescopic sight is available in fixed powers and some models have an adjustable ring that the hunter can use to select different powers of magnification.

Aperture or peep sight

Usually mounted at the rear part of the rifle action, this sight has a base and a raised ring. It is adjustable for vertical and horizontal movement. Aim at a target by mounting the firearm and peering through the peephole of the rear sight, centering the front sight within the circle of the rear peep sight. The front sight can be a metal post with a ball on top or just a metal post. This category of sight is common on target rifles.

Open sight

Featuring a notch or cut at the rear and a single post at the front or muzzle end of the barrel, open sights are common features on rifles and pistols. Many of the newer open sights have the front and rear sight made of fiber optic material of contrasting colors, that gather light and are easier to see in low light.

How do you adjust the sight on an open sight?

You move the rear sight in the direction you want the shots to move on the target.

What are the different types of shooting positions?

Prone, sitting, standing, kneeling, handgun shooting,

Prone position

This is the steadiest of all positions, because it supports both the firearm and the hunter’s upper body. The hunter’s hips and legs provide a stable platform. This position is very comfortable and should be used to practice the fundamentals of good shooting.

Sitting position

This is the next-best position for steadiness. With legs crossed at the ankles, the hunter’s knees gives support to the arms. But a hunter’s legs will start to shake if this position is held for a lengthy period

Standing position

In this position, the hunter’s arms are not supported, making it difficult to take an accurate shot. With this position, there is an exaggerated movement of the barrel. Some hunters will use a tree, large stone or a "shooting stick" as a prop to help ensure an accurate shot.

Kneeling position

This is an adaptation of the standing position, in which the hunter uses a rest to steady the firearm. The hunter will experience less barrel movement – a key to accurate shot placement.

Handgun shooting position

Handguns are different in the way the firearm is held when firing at game or sighting at a target. Handguns have the same types of sight configurations as a rifle. Since the handgun has a shorter barrel, accuracy is difficult to obtain. Sight in the handgun at 25 yards and then move out to 50 yards. Always use a two-handed hold with a handgun.

Shotgun stance

In a standing position with feet apart at shoulder width. For right-eye dominant shooters, the left leg will be slightly forward and the left foot pointed toward the anticipated target. For left-eye dominant shooters, the right leg will be slightly forward and the right foot will be turned slightly. The hunter bends forward at the waist. The forward leg of the hunter is bent slightly, not locked.The hunter raises the shotgun to the cheek under the dominant eye first and then back to the shoulder. The positioning of the shotgun on the cheek is critical. If the shotgun is not placed correctly against the cheek, the shot will either be high or low.A general rule to follow is that the stock be held comfortably – not too tight or too loose – against the cheek, just under the cheekbone. The hunter’s head has to be held straight, not canted to the left or right.

Still Hunting

This is a technique in which a hunter moves slowly through a hunting area looking for game animals. By moving slowly and stopping frequently to look and listen, there’s a greater chance of spotting game. It works very well on windy or rainy days. A hunter must take great care with every step. Game animals are alerted quickly by unfamiliar sounds and could run away if they sense danger. Hunters take advantage of all trees, blow downs, thickets and undergrowth to hide movement and to break up their outline in the woods. They are also mindful of wind direction. Remember the old saying about keeping the wind on your face. It’s true. Because if the wind is blowing against you, your scent will be behind you rather than in the path of the game you wish to spot and harvest.


Unlike still hunting, stalking is used when a hunter is following fresh game or animal signs, or has seen game in the distance. These signs might be fresh tracks in the dirt or leaves; they could also be scat or rub lines along a known game trail. If a hunter spots game animals in the distance, the stalking technique helps him or her to move closer and set up for a safe shot. Stalking requires the same approach used by still hunting. A hunter moves very slowly, facing the wind and being mindful of footing to avoid breaking twigs or slipping.

Ground Blinds

These are temporary structures that a hunter sets up before hunting season begins. Ranging in size from a single-person blind to a miniature shed-like structure that can house up to three hunters, ground blinds can be a lot of fun to use. The advantage of a ground blind is that a hunter can sit inside it and be hidden from the sight of game animals. They are very effective when set up in areas of known game travel lanes and on the edges of crop fields and overgrown areas. Pop-up or manufactured ground blinds that are enclosed with a roof are good anytime. If it rains or is windy, a hunter is protected from the elements. The disadvantage of a ground blind is if the game animals cannot see the hunter, neither can other hunters. For your safety, it is important that any ground blind be clearly marked with blaze orange to let others know that someone is inside or around the ground blind.

Deer drives

In a deer drive, a party of hunters splits into two groups. One group lines up along the edge of the game cover – they’re called the posters, and they don’t move from their assigned positions. The other group are the drivers. They position themselves on the opposite side of the game cover and walk toward the posters. While walking through the cover, the drivers flush out game animals to the posters. If the drivers move slowly, the animals will also move slowly out of the cover. Usually drivers do not shoot at the animal.This technique is quite effective for cover that is not too thick. Each of the posters must clearly identify the animal they want to target before shouldering their firearm. The posters have to be careful and know their zone of fire. It’s important to wear a blaze orange hat and vest and know where the other posters are located.

How long after taking a shot do you wait before looking for an animal?

After taking a shot, wait for at least 15 to 20 minutes before looking for the game animal. Patience is a must at this point. Remember that if the game animal does not drop immediately after having been shot, it will try to hide in a safe place. It is every hunter’s responsibility to find any game they shot. This can sometimes take hours if it was a poorly placed shot, but it is your duty not to give up. If the animal ran onto private property, contact the landowner and get permission to go find the animal.With a properly placed shot – in the area of the heart or lungs – the game animal will expire within a few minutes. After waiting, the hunter can start to track and find the game animal. When tracking the game animal, look for signs that it was shot – drops of blood on the ground or on plants are good signs. Take time to observe everything in the immediate area. You might find some hair or feathers on the ground or see a trail in the direction that the game animal ran. It is a good idea to carry some flagging tape with you to mark the blood trail. This will show the general direction in which the animal ran. Be sure to remove any flagging tape when you are finished your hunt. If the blood trail runs out, return to the last clear indication of blood, and try again, moving in increasing circles.

Approaching a downed animal

Once you find the game animal, approach it with caution from the rear. That way, if it is still alive and jumps up, you will not be in its way. If you see any movement from the downed game animal, you will have to take another shot at it – aimed at the base of the skull where it meets the spinal column, or in the heart and lung area. Most game animals will have their eyes open when they expire. Be sure to immediately attach any game or harvest tag as required.

Three factors that can spoil meat and make it unsafe to eat?

-Heat, dirt, and moisture. -Bacteria may start to grow if the meat is not cooled. Start the cooling process by field dressing the game animal as quickly as possible.When dragging or moving the game animal to a pickup point or a vehicle, keep it as clean as possible. If you are hunting in an area that has livestock, ensure the game animal is not dragged over manure in the field. Avoid getting dirt or vegetation inside the cleaned-out body cavity.Water on exposed meat breeds bacteria. Carry the game animal over small streams or creeks. Use paper towels or a clean rag to dry the body cavity if it gets wet. Protect your harvested game from rain, snow and ice when transporting it.

Field dressing

Field dressing is the act of removing the entrails from the body cavity of a downed game animal. It is the best way to cool down a game animal in the field. When field dressing any animal, take great care not to cut through the intestines, bladder or stomach area, as urine and other sources of bacteria can cause contamination. To field dress big game, such as deer, you will need to make a cut in the skin starting just above the anus, and going right up to the base of the animal’s jaw. This will allow you to remove the internal organs from the body cavity. Once the initial cut is made, take your time cutting the entrails from the backbone. When done properly, the entrails should come out as one large mass.Most big game animals have scent glands on their hind legs. The glands excrete a penetrating odor or musk. Avoid touching exposed meat if you touch these areas. Leave the glands on, and skin them off as you skin the entire hide later on. Field dressing of small game is a similar process. The initial cut is made from above the anus right to the breastbone. With one hand holding the animal, use your free hand to take out the internal organs from the body cavity. Once the animal is field dressed, allow the meat to cool in a well-ventilated area.Field dressing a game bird takes a different first step. Before making the initial cut, you will need to pluck the feathers from the bird’s belly to expose the skin. The cut is made below the breastbone – you may then pull out the internal organs with your hands. Once the bird is field dressed, allow the meat to cool in a well-ventilated area. When you return to camp, hang the game animal from a tree or a specially designed rack. This allows the air to circulate, cooling the meat quicker. It also helps you to skin the animal. The best place to hang the game animal is a shed or refrigerator box that is kept at an optimum temperature. If the game animal is to be hung outside, wrap the animal in a game bag or cheese cloth to keep insects from landing on the meat.Dispose of the entrails in a way that will not offend others. Place them in a shallow depression and cover with leaves, or in a trash bag for later disposal. Once the animal is skinned, wash any dirt or blood from the meat. Next, dry the meat with paper towels or clean, dry rags. Let it air dry thoroughly. If a game animal is quartered, the meat can be placed in waterproof bags and placed in ice coolers. During hunting seasons, there are butchers that will skin and process game animals for you – all you need to do is field dress and transport it to their premises. Make sure you wear some type of latex or rubber gloves when handling a downed game animal. This not only keeps your hands cleaner, but also protects you from getting scratched and helps reduce the risk of contracting infections. Although unlikely, there is always a chance of harvesting a diseased animal. Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), Lyme disease, and Rabies are three examples of infections that can potentially be transmitted to humans from a downed animal. Avoid harvesting an animal that appears sick. When field dressing, skinning or quartering the animal, do not cut through bones, brain tissue or the spinal cord. Always wash your hands, and any instrument used for field dressing.When transporting a game animal, place it in the back of a truck or on a vehicle rack with a cover over it to protect it from dirt and debris. Do not strap the game animal to the hood of a vehicle. Not only is it offensive to others and disrespectful to the game animal, the heat from the vehicle’s engine will spoil the meat.

What are some advantages to using a treestand?

Gives a hunter a longer range of visibility, which allows more time to prepare for a safe shot.A hunter’s scent remains in the canopy of the trees, instead of on the ground where it can give away a position to nearby animals.Game animals can detect even slight movements. In a treestand, the hunter can move without being easily detected.Blaze orange can be seen at greater distances in a treestand than on the ground, where the hunter’s color(s) might be blocked by brush and debris.Shots taken by a hunter from a treestand are at a downward angle, so the bullet or arrow will go into the ground. This is especially important when hunting near homes and farms buildings

What are some disadvantages to using a treestand?

A hunter has no protection from the wind unless the treestand has a skirt around its platform.Some treestands are quite heavy to carry into or out of the woods.In rainy or snowy weather, a hunter might lose his or her footing when climbing up to or getting out of the treestand. It is difficult to change positions or move around in some treestands Setting up and taking down a treestand can be very noisy A hunter might fall asleep in the treestand, and this could result in an incident.Many hunting incidents occur when a hunter is getting into or out of a treestand.

Vest type harness

This is the safest, most reliable harness a hunter can use. It is very easy for any hunter to use – simply slip it on, adjust the straps and fasten the clips. Unlike the simple belt or chest harness, it is strapped around the shoulders, waist and legs so that in the event of a fall from a treestand, pressure is distributed across a larger area of the hunter’s body, helping to ensure a quick recovery with less chance of injury.

Parachute or full-body harness

This harness is just as safe and offers the same type of protection as the Vest-harness when used properly, however there are many straps and buckles involved. Always check and re-check your harness to ensure that it is properly secured, before you start climbing up into the treestand.

If you fall out of a treestand what are the three R’s to remember?

Rescue, relief, recover

Single strap harness

Single strap harnesses should not be considered as a safe harness. These kind of harnesses cause severe restriction in the chest area, making it difficult to breathe or move. ALWAYS use a Full Body Harness when using a treestand!

chest harness

Chest harnesses are no longer the preferred harnesses either. These harnesses cause severe restriction in the chest area, making it difficult to breathe or move. ALWAYS use a Full Body Harness when using a treestand!

What are some types of fall arrest systems (FAS)?

vest type, parachute of full body, single strap, chest harness

Tether (safety) strap for a tree

The second component to the Fall Arrest System (FAS) is the tether strap that attaches to the tree. This is the anchor point for the safety harness. When the hunter is standing on the platform this safety strap should be attached to the tree at eye level or above. There should be NO slack in the tether when sitting. Having no slack in the tether will prevent the hunter from falling more than a few inches. It is much better to fall a few inches than several feet.

Suspension relief device on a FAS/FBH

Always have your suspension relief aid handy and ready to use if you do fall. Remember to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and practice using your FAS/FBH at ground level with a responsible adult before using it aloft. Additionally, there are several optional, commercially available self-recovery or self-extraction devices. These optional devices enable the user to be safely lowered to the ground automatically, or under the control of the user. One of the devices can be considered for use as an additional safety precaution against prolonged suspension trauma.

Types of treestands

-*Homeade or permanent treestand -*Fixed or hang-on treestand -*Self-climb stand -*ladder stand -*tower stand

Self climb stand

The self-climbing stand is highly portable and is available in many styles. It can be carried like a backpack into the woods on the day of the hunt and used in different locations, depending on the hunting conditions. To install it in a tree, a hunter uses a push-down, pull-up method. It requires practice to become proficient with how this stand operates, so it’s wise to practice at ground level before hunting season begins. A safety strap is required when climbing with this stand, so select a tree that does not have loose or peeling bark.The hunter stands on the bottom platform and pulls the seat section up to waist level. He or she then sits on the seat and raises the bottom platform up to the bottom of the seat section. The hunter then stands on the bottom platform and pulls the seat section up to waist level. This action is repeated until the hunter reaches the desired height.Safety Tips for Self-Climbing Stands:Attach your FAS/FBH to the tree before leaving the ground.Attach the seating and standing platforms in a slightly upward direction to compensate for the narrowing of the tree trunk as you go up.Connect both the seating and standing platforms together to prevent the platforms from separating, leaving you stranded. As you ascend or descend, move the tree belt anchorage with you. Never hurry. Take short, distinct bites.

A fixed or hang-on tree stand

(A fixed or hang-on type stand can be attached to a tree at any height. It consists of a seat and a platform, along with straps and/or chains to attach the stand. A hunter’s movement in this stand is very limited, and it requires a ladder or steps for access. Make sure the attaching straps or chains are tight and secure or the stand could slip when weight is applied to the platform.Safety Tips for Fixed / Hang-on Stands:ALWAYS use a climbing / lineman’s belt when installing or removing a fixed position stand and also while ascending or descending the tree. NEVER support your weight with a tree limb. Tree limbs can break causing you to fall.Always test the stand to be sure it is secure before climbing into it.Never use wood steps attached to the tree with nails or spikes.Avoid using screw-in steps, as they can be more dangerous than other climbing aides. They are also illegal in some states. Know the law!)

Homeade or permanent treestand

(Homemade or permanent treestands made of wood are NOT recommended because over time they can deteriorate and become unsafe. Rain, snow and ice can collect on the stand, and moss can collect in spots, making the platform slick. Also, a permanent stand can damage the tree to which it’s attached and the nails you use to fasten it can cause serious damage to equipment or people later on, when the tree is harvested.)

Ladder stand

This stand is safer to enter and exit thanks to the ladder, but it may require three people to install and secure it properly to a tree.Ranging between 12 and 16 feet in height, it is ideal when hunting on well-established game trails. Some ladder stands have a small seat and platform for one hunter. Others feature a larger seat and platform for two hunters. A skirt can also be purchased, which will conceal the hunter’s movements. Some ladder stands feature a bar that can be used as a gun rest.Safety Tips for Ladder Stands:Ladder stands should include criss-cross straps, standoff brackets or other means of securing the ladder to the tree before climbing to the platform. Ladder sections must be securely held together with retainer pins, clips, or some other device to prevent the ladder sections from coming apart unexpectedly. Ladder stands can require up to 3 persons to install or remove correctly. Don’t risk your safety or the safety of others by attempting to install or remove it yourself. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. ALWAYS lean forward and maintain three points of contact while climbing the ladder. Example: Two hands, one foot. As you approach the top of the ladder, attach the FAS/FBH tether to the tree as soon as possible.

Tower stand

This is a freestanding stand, featuring either three or four legs, depending on the manufacturer. A ladder is included with this stand to access the top platform, where the seat is attached. The tower stand is best suited for the edge of a field or in open country. It requires a strong, level, firm base and needs to be secured to the ground.

Using a haul line

A hunter should never carry hunting equipment (firearms and other gear) when climbing a treestand. The added weight could cause a loss of balance and even result in a fall from the tree. Instead, retrieve all equipment using a haul line (a strong rope, strap or commercially made line) and always adhere to the following safety tips:Before climbing into the treestand, unload your firearm. Leave the action open. If retrieving a bow or crossbow with a haul line, keep all arrows or bolts in a quiver. If retrieving a firearm, the muzzle of your firearm should point toward the ground.Secure hunting equipment to the haul line. If retrieving a firearm, do not tie the haul line around the trigger or trigger guard! Tuck – do not tie – the other end of the haul line into your pocket or belt. Climb into the treestand, securing your FAS/FBH to the tree before beginning to retrieve the haul line. Once you’ve raised your firearm up to your treestand, check for obstructions in the barrel and action. Take your time, do not hurry.

What to do if you fall from a treestand

f you fall from a treestand and you are properly using a FAS/FBH, remember your 3 R’s – Rescue, Relief and Recover.If you cannot recover from the fall yourself, the second option is to be rescued. You should always carry an emergency signal device on your person at all times in case of emergency. Emergency Signal Devices can be any of the following: Two-Way Radio Cell Phone Personal Locator Device Whistle

The word STOP is an acronym used in survival. What does it mean?

S Stop and sit down. Keep a positive mental attitude. T Think about your surroundings. Could you find your way out, or are you going to spend the night? O Observe what is around you. Can you hear cars? Can you hear farm animals or farm machinery? Can you see radio towers or old logging roads? Can you smell smoke from a wood stove? Use your senses to find out where you are. P Plan what you do. The time of day and the weather will influence how the plan will be set in motion and what you will do first.

Three important survival needs

Shelter, fire (clear a 3 foot wide area around your fire for safety), signal (three blasts of a plastic whistle, flashes with a reflective device (e.g., mirror or old CD), flashes from a flashlight, rocks hit together three times, or fires arranged in a circle, triangle or a line. A rescuer who hears or sees these signs will head to that location. When signaling, it is important to stay where you are. As rescuers get closer, they will respond with two blasts from a whistle or other signaling device. The sound of a whistle will carry farther than the sound of your voice.)

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