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N.L.’s moose hunters reminded to use firearms safely

A moose is shown along the Skyline trail in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park in this Cape Breton Post file photo.
A moose is shown along the Skyline trail in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park in this Cape Breton Post file photo.

Fish and Wildlife Enforcement officers in the province have dealt with over 40 offences relating to improper use of firearms so far this year, according to the Department of Fisheries and Land Resources.

Last year, officers handled 244 firearms-related violations, the most common being possessing a loaded firearm in a vehicle, shooting from a roadway, shooting near dwellings, hunting within commercial logging operations and shooting near a school or playground.  

While the season has been open for a month in the rest of the province, the day moose hunters in eastern Newfoundland have been waiting for arrives this Saturday.

The provincial government is encouraging hunters to make sure they know the current firearm regulations and to practice safe firearm use while hunting this season.

Some basic rules of firearm safety are:

- Always point the muzzle in a safe direction;

- Treat every firearm as though it were loaded;

- Unload firearms when they are not in use;

- Keep the action open when the firearm is stored;

- Ensure firearms are in a case when transporting to hunting areas;

- Be sure the barrel and action are clear of obstructions;

- Be sure to use the proper ammunition for the firearm being used;

- Only point a firearm at the intended target and avoid all horseplay;

- Never climb a fence, tree, or jump a ditch with a loaded firearm;

- Never pull a firearm toward you by the muzzle;

- Always attempt to control the direction of the muzzle even if you should stumble;

- Never shoot a bullet at a flat, hard surface or at water;

- Store firearms and ammunition separately; and

- Avoid alcohol and drugs when hunting.

Additional hunter safety information and details about laws and regulations governing hunting and firearm usage in Newfoundland and Labrador are outlined in the 2017-18 Hunting and Trapping Guide at the Department of Fisheries and Land Resources website.

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