Safety Tips

The Warden Service has a long history in Maine for promoting safety regarding outdoor recreational activities. Game Wardens work hard to insure everyone's outdoor experiences in Maine can take place in a safe environment. Special precautions need to be adhered to when preparing for an out-of-doors adventure in Maine. Each of our seasons has special challenges concerning safe outdoor recreation.

If you're heading out in the woods for turkey hunting, take care to be safe. Follow these simple rules:

  • Use gobble calls only to locate a tom, not to attract one. Some other hunter might think you're a turkey.
  • Keep hands and head camouflaged when calling.
  • Never stalk a turkey and don't try to approach closer than 100 yards to a gobbler.
  • Select a calling site from which you can see at least 40 yards in all directions.
  • Never carry or move an uncovered decoy.

You must be extra careful when turkey hunting because you are dressed in camouflage. It is a good idea to wear a blaze orange cap or gloves while walking. You can take them off when you are ready to hunt. Most turkey hunting shooting incidents occur because one hunter mistakes another hunter as game.

You should find a hunting spot that allows you to rest your back against a tree or some other object that is as wide as your shoulders. This helps protect you from not only an errant shot, but from the good vision of the turkey.

Safety is the most important part of any hunt.

As you join thousands of hunters heading into the woods, fields and marshes during the spring or fall hunting seasons, Maine Game Wardens remind you to review and think about firearm safety each and every time you head out.

Essential to any responsible hunting trip is an ironclad adherence to the four basic rules of firearm safety that can be easily remembered using the TAB-K formula.

T = Treat every firearm as if it is loaded.
A = Always point the muzzle in a safe direction.
B = Be certain of your target and what's beyond it.
K = Keep your finger outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot.

Planning your hunting trip also means having your gear in proper working order. Firearms should be cleaned and closely inspected for any signs of mechanical wear that could result in a problem in the field.

Firearms are not the only items that need to be checked well in advance of a hunting trip. Clothing and other equipment should also be inspected for signs of wear and tear. Anything that might cause you to compromise safety should be repaired, discarded, or replaced. Blaze orange clothing that has faded over time, a jacket that does not fit correctly, or a scope that is not adjusted can compromise your safety and the safety of others.

Have a safe and enjoyable hunt!

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