The four basic rules of firearms safety, known by the acronym TABK, are as follows:

T - Treat every firearm as if it were loaded. Never assume a firearm is unloaded. 

A - Always point the firearm in a safe direction. Even if an unwanted discharge occurs no one will be hurt if you always point the gun in a safe direction. 

B - Be sure of your target and what is beyond your target. Make absolutely certain you can positively identify your target and what is beyond it. Make sure there are no other hunters, houses, vehicles, or other animals beyond your target in case your bullet, or shot if you are using a shotgun, misses your target or travels through your target. Never shoot an animal that is on the horizon as you cannot be sure of what is behind that animal 

K - Keep your finger out of the trigger guard and off the trigger until ready to shoot. Also, make sure that branches or other objects do not contact the trigger guard or trigger. 

Currently, it is estimated more people are injured from elevated stand-related injuries than all other incidents combined. "If you are hunting from an elevated stand, make sure you are properly using a full body safety harness, also known as a Fall Arrest System (FAS)" said Wayne East, executive director for IHEA. "Also, make sure you read and follow the manufacturer's directions on proper use of your safety harness." 

With some common sense and the proper use of safety equipment, you will ensure that you and others will safely enjoy your hunt 

For more information, visit ihea-usa.org.

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