The Outdoor World

Hunting Safety

Though state run hunting education is a significant part of the overall hunting experience, and hunting safety should be the first thing a novice hunter learns, there is considerable hunting knowledge passed from generation to generation. The learning curve can be a bit steep and sometimes dangerous for those who go it alone, or don’t take the proper time to educate themselves.

One easy way to beat the learning curve and to experience hunting is through guided hunting vacations. Guided hunts at destinations throughout the U.S. and abroad attract a large number of adventure travelers and hunters. In some cases these package deals will include transportation, lodging, licensing, kennels for your dogs, guns and ammo, safety clothing, and anything else you need. They’ll even freeze and pack your game, or in some cases provide taxidermy services. If you would like information on guided hunting trips in California a nice website to visit is

No matter where you learn, the rules of safe gun handling are the same…

Rules for Safe Firearm Handling:

  1. Treat all firearms as if they were loaded
  2. Never leave a loaded firearm unattended
  3. Never point a firearm at anything except while shooting your target
  4. Always keep a firearm pointed in a safe direction
  5. Keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to shoot
  6. Know your target and what is beyond
  7. Never climb a tree or fence with a loaded firearm
  8. Be sure your firearm is safe to operate
  9. Use only the correct ammunition
  10. Use proper ear and eye protection when using a firearm
  11. Never use alcohol or over the counter medications when operating a firearm
  12. Store firearms so they are not accessible to unauthorized persons.

The State of California requires all first time resident hunters, regardless of age, to complete hunter education training or pass a comprehensive equivalency test before purchasing a hunting license.

The CA Dept. of Justice (DOJ) has published the study guide below as a means to prepare individuals to pass the Firearm Safety Certificate (FSC) test. Click on the English or Spanish version to download a .pdf version of the study guide. (The DOJ no longer offers printed copies of the study guide.)

English FSC Study Guide Spanish FSC Study Guide

For more info see the California Department of Fish and Game & Hunter Education