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Turkey Hunters Urged to Practice Safety

From the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

-- The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission reminds hunters to stay safe while enjoying the spring shotgun turkey hunting season which opens April 18.

In 2008, Nebraska issued approximately 45,000 permits to hunt turkey and only two incidents involved a turkey hunter being injured.

“The major cause of incidents where a turkey hunter is injured is basically the same year after year,” Hunter Education Coordinator Mike Streeter said. “It involves hunters shooting at what they think is a turkey when it is not, or when a shot is fired by one hunter finding another hunter that is behind or down range of the turkey.

“Always identify the target as a turkey and always know for sure what is behind the target,” he said. “Never shoot at sound or movement. Never stalk what you think is a turkey. It most often will be another hunter. When in doubt, don't shoot.”

Additional safety principles:

When on the move, show everyone blaze orange for safety.

Treat every firearm as if it were loaded.

Always know where the muzzle is pointed.

Be sure the barrel and action are clear of obstructions.

Unload guns when not in use.

Never point a firearm at anything you don't want to shoot.

Never climb a fence or ditch creek or into a tree stand with a loaded firearm.

Never shoot at a flat, hard surface or water.

Always store guns and ammunition in separate locked locations.

Avoid alcoholic beverages, medication and mind-altering drugs before and while hunting.

If you see another hunter stalking you, call out in a loud voice to alert them to your presence.

Avoid the colors blue, red and white on you while hunting as they are turkey colors.

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