Firearm safety - part 3
by Technical Advisor Brendan Atkinson
Spotlight shooting has always been a popular pastime in Australia. It can be undertaken all year round, inclement weather notwithstanding, and many hours of enjoyment can be had perched on the back of a
Spotlighting is frowned upon in many countries and in some places is totally banned. Not sporting apparently, but most of the spotlighting we have done is for feral pest eradication. Spotlighting can be safe, enjoyable shooting, but it does bring a few safety considerations with it.
Ground rules must be set before venturing out into the dark. Because of the limited field of view given by the light beam, extra precautions should be considered. No-one should get out of the vehicle until all guns are made safe - and that means actions visibly open or ‘broken’ in the case of shotguns. Persons going out to retrieve game should carry torches to avoid stumbling over hidden objects in the grass. Likewise, if a gun needs to be taken out to finish off fallen game, it should be carried in safe-mode, muzzle pointing forward and no-one in front of the shooter.
One of the things to be conscious of is that UHF and CB antennas do not show up in scopes. Neither do roof racks.
The person with the spotlight should initially identify the target, but it is the shooter who calls the shot. Work to a pattern, and things will fall into place.
It’s all common sense and with a bit of thought, accidents can easily be prevented.