Hunting In Arizona Is Extremely Safe

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Editor:

Hunting in Arizona is extremely safe. On average, there are fewer than six hunting-related accidents each year.

Many young hunters have taken the department’s hunter education course, mandatory for young hunters ages 10-13 hunting big game. Core values taught in the course, that when followed, eliminate most situations, include:

• T.A.B. +1 — Treat every gun as if it were loaded; Always keep the muzzle in a safe direction; Be sure of your target and beyond; +1 Keep your finger outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot.

• Ethics, responsibility, knowledge and safety.

• Never stalk hunt turkeys.

• Do not wear red, white and/or blue when turkey hunting.

• Use a hen (female) call — not a gobbler (male).

• Never carry a decoy or harvested bird uncovered — use camouflage or hunter orange.

• If you hear or see another hunter announce yourself clearly.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department understands hunting is not for everyone. However, hunting plays a critical role in wildlife conservation for all species — game and nongame. Hunters and anglers have been the backbone to sustaining wildlife resources for over a hundred years through the guidance of the North American Model for Wildlife Conservation.

Through sportsmen and sportswomen’s efforts, wildlife populations across North America are healthy and diverse. Prior to the regulated hunting movement, many animals were on the verge of extirpation — including the wild turkey. Today’s vibrant wildlife populations are a direct result of the efforts and funding of hunters and science-based wildlife management practices.

In fact, a 2008 study by Responsive Management reports, “an overwhelming majority of Americans support hunting and shooting, and support has been increasing during the past decade.”

Introducing youngsters to hunting will foster the next generation’s passion for wildlife and assure wildlife is here for present and future generations.

Doug Burt

Arizona Game and Fish Department

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