Today’s specific instruction is on Rule #4: Be sure of your target and what is behind it. The impetus for this comes from Stearns County, Minnesota where a young girl found a bullet hole in her pillow around noon on Sunday.
From reading the article, it sounds like someone with a muzzleloader took a shot that missed its intended target, and it flew for a bit and went through this kid’s bedroom wall and into her pillow.
This is really the sort of thing that really emphasizes to me how important it is to be 100% sure of your target, especially when you’re hunting. I have seen velocities from a modern inline muzzleloader anywhere from 1500 to 2000 fps, and have heard that some go up to 3000 fps; which is plenty fast enough to go a long way if you miss your mark.
I understand that sometimes you’re going to miss. It’s a fact of hunting that you don’t always make the shot. That’s why it’s extremely important to be sure of your target, and what is behind your target. Just because you think you’re Steven Sniper doesn’t mean that you can’t jerk the trigger and miss that trophy buck.
In related news, Sebastian links to a story from the Washington Times that shows that shotgun hunting isn’t really appreciable safer than rifle hunting. Indiana is a perfect example of this foolishness, actually. You’re not allowed to hunt with a centerfire rifle, but you can use a pistol chambered for a rifle cartridge. So your 12 gauge shotgun, or you TC/Encore .308 pistol are both okay, but not your Remington 30’06.