Before going out on your very first hunting trip, here are some things to consider:
If you were born after January 1, 1960, you are required to take a hunter safety class. Hunter educations teaches you safe hunting techniques, firearm handling, and hunter ethics. In Michigan, there are 3 types of classes offered: Traditional Classroom, Home Study, and Online Hunter Safety Courses. When taking the Home Study or Online Course, you will also have to register for a skills/field day portion of the regular class before starting either of these classes.
In addition to the firearm handling/safety you learn about in your hunter safety class, the Michigan DNR published the following:
The Ten Commandments of Firearm Safety:
- Watch that muzzle! Keep it pointed in a safe direction at all times.
- Treat every firearm with the respect due a loaded gun. It might be, even if you think it isn’t.
- Be sure of the target and what is in front of it and beyond it. Know the identifying features of the game you hunt. Make sure you have an adequate backstop — don’t shoot at a flat, hard surface or water.
- Keep your finger outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot. This is the best way to prevent an accidental discharge.
- Check your barrel and ammunition. Make sure the barrel and action are clear of obstructions and carry only the proper ammunition for your firearm.
- Unload firearms when not in use. Leave actions open/ carry firearms in cases and unloaded to and from the shooting area.
- Point a firearm only at something you intend to shoot. Avoid all horseplay with a gun.
- Don’t run, jump or climb with a loaded firearm. Unload a firearm before you climb a fence or tree, or jump a ditch. Pull a firearm toward you by the butt, not the muzzle.
- Store firearms and ammunition separately and safely. Store each in secured locations beyond the reach of children and careless adults.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages before or during shooting. Also avoid mind- or behavior altering medicines or drugs.
Laws & Licenses
After going through your Hunter education and having a good sense of firearm safety, you are ready to purchase your hunting license. There are several places to purchase your license. You can purchase it online through the Michigan DNR or at a store that sells the hunting licenses.
You also want to make sure you know the laws that go along with fishing or the type of hunting that you are partaking in.
Places to Hunt
There are several places to hunt in Michigan. Whether it be your grandfather’s farm or land owned by the state, you need to be mindful of where you are hunting and who is allowing you to hunt there. If you need help finding the right place to hunt, the State has an interactive hunting map to help you find that perfect hunting spot. Visit http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-10363_10913—,00.html to find the Mi-HUNT Interactive Map Application.
If you want more information on hunting in Michigan, please visit: www.michigan.gov/dnr.
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