Safe Wing Shooting Practices

Handling Your Gun

  • Assume every gun is loaded
  • Always keep your gun barrel pointed in a safe direction
  • Know your target but see beyond it before pulling the trigger
  • Know the location of other hunters at all times

Safety in the field

  • Wear Orange
  • Wear safety glasses
  • Always shoot within your zone
  • Each hunter has a space where they can safely shoot. Envision a firing line with arms outstretched in front of your body held in a “V” at about a 45 degree angle. This is each individual’s safe shooting zone
  • Always be aware of other hunters, the handlers, and the dogs. Check your zone for potential danger before a shot presents itself.
  • Always maintain a parallel line.
  • When hunting uneven ground know where everyone in your party is. Your view of others may be obstructed by terrain or brush
  • Always shoot into the clear sky
  • When the dogs are flushing birds out let the birds fly above the undergrowth into clear sky before you shoot.
  • Never shoot at a low flying bird. Rather shout out low bird.
  • There should be at least a six foot elevation on all attempted shots.
  • An athletic bird dog often jumps higher after the bird is flushed. If a dog is approaching the bird the shot should be held.
  • Absolutely no alcohol within eight hours of the hunt

When in doubt always wait it out


If you have any doubt on the angle or trajectory of a shot, the location of other hunters, the handler or the  dog, HOLD YOUR FIRE! There will be more birds. An unsafe hunter will not be tolerated. Wing Shooting puts hunters very close to each other with loaded guns. One bad decision by a careless hunter puts everyone at risk of injury or death. The life of a friend or the life of man’s best friend is never worth the risk of an unsafe shot. Think before you shoot.


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