Fisheries and Land Resources
October 5, 2017

Hunters Reminded to Practice Safe Firearm Use

Hunters throughout the province are being encouraged to familiarize themselves with current firearm regulations and are reminded to practice safe firearm use while taking part in hunting activity this season.

A significant increase in hunting activity is anticipated in the coming weeks as the big game moose hunting season opens for the eastern portion of the island on Saturday, October 7. The big game moose hunt has been ongoing in Labrador and the western region since September 9.

Each year during the big game hunting season enforcement officers with the Department of Fisheries and Land Resources respond to numerous complaints and encounter many individuals engaging in the unsafe handling of a firearm.

In 2016, Fish and Wildlife Enforcement officers encountered 244 firearms related violations throughout the province. Common offences include possessing a loaded firearm in a vehicle, shooting from a roadway, shooting near dwellings, hunting within commercial logging operations, and shooting near a school or playground. Officers have dealt with over 40 offences relating to improper use of firearms to date in 2017.

Hunters should practice and share the following basic rules of firearm safety:

  • Always point the muzzle in a safe direction;
  • Treat every firearm as though it were loaded;
  • Unload firearms when they are not in use;
  • Keep the action open when the firearm is stored;
  • Ensure firearms are in a case when transporting to hunting areas;
  • Be sure the barrel and action are clear of obstructions;
  • Be sure to use the proper ammunition for the firearm being used;
  • Only point a firearm at the intended target and avoid all horseplay;
  • Never climb a fence, tree, or jump a ditch with a loaded firearm;
  • Never pull a firearm toward you by the muzzle;
  • Always attempt to control the direction of the muzzle even if you should stumble;
  • Never shoot a bullet at a flat, hard surface or at water;
  • Store firearms and ammunition separately; and
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs when hunting.

Hunters can access additional hunter safety information and details about laws and regulations governing hunting and firearm usage in Newfoundland and Labrador in the 2017-18 Hunting and Trapping Guide at the Department of Fisheries and Land Resources website.

“All hunters have a responsibility to ensure they handle firearms safely and to be mindful of the rules and regulations surrounding safe hunting practices and firearm use. During this hunting season I encourage everyone to practice safe firearms use and report any illegal activity to Fish and Wildlife Enforcement officers.”
Honorable Gerry Byrne
Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources

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Learn More
2017-18 Hunting and Trapping Guide – PDF icon.

Fish and Wildlife Enforcement -

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Media contact
Craig Renouf
Fisheries and Land Resources
709-637-2284, 709-632-8167

2017 10 05                              11:40 a.m.