HUNTINGsmart! USA Knowledge Base



Your safe zone of fire is the only area where it’s safe to shoot your firearm. You must always know where your safe zone of fire is—especially when you’re hunting in a group. Communicate with your buddies about their safe zones and frequently double-check your own.

Determining Your ‘Safe Zone of Fire’

To determine your safe zone of fire, imagine that you’re facing a clock at 12 o’clock. Your safe zone would be the space between 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock. Or, try imagining your hands on a steering wheel—see that wedge of space in between your hands? That’s where it’s safe for you to shoot. The only time you could allow yourself a slightly greater safe zone of fire is if you’re hunting alone, you’ve thoroughly surveyed your surroundings and you’re certain it’s safe to do so.

It’s a safe shot if:

  • You’ve positively identify the animal.
  • You’re absolutely sure of what lies between you and your target (in the foreground).
  • You’re absolutely sure of what lies beyond your target (in the background).

Check This Out: Is Your Target Safe?

When practising for the hunt and shooting at targets, make sure you have a safe impact area. Your target must have a backstop that is solid enough to capture fired bullets and it must be constructed of a material that will not allow your projectile to ricochet.

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