This Is For The Birds

It’s the time of year many of us are headed to blinds, fields and marshes to bird hunt. With much improved gear, equipment and clothing the hunt has become a bit more comfortable. This means we can bring along our children and husbands are even bringing their wives.

It’s a blast to bring a “newbie” on their first bird hunt.

Many of us have a tendency to start our cohorts off using smaller caliber shotguns. This is sometimes a good idea because a 12 gauge shotgun can become quite heavy when you’re walking the fields, flushing birds for hours on end. It’s also pleasant for a smaller stature hunter to have a shotgun that is easier, and safer, for them to balance in the swing. That being said, you may end up with various gauge shotguns on the hunt.

Whether you’re sitting in the blind beside your wife, or holding ammunition for your son, it’s very important to keep the shells separate.

Long ago a friend informed me not to worry because her 20 gauge shells were a different color than my 12 gauge. That simply isn’t always correct. Yes, sometimes shell colors vary, but that’s the key word, “sometimes.” In the excitement of the hunt, you don’t want to reach for the wrong box, or into the wrong pocket.

In the beginning stages it’s important for mentors to carry children’s, and maybe even some adult’s, shells. As they progress and become more responsible, they’ll be able to manage their own. Granted, you had them go to Hunter Education class, you can still reiterate what will happen if a 20 gauge shell is accidentally followed by a 12 gauge shell in a gun barrel.

Manage your shells. Be Safe and happy hunting.

For more info on NSSF's Project Child Safe go to

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