My hope is that Kai's death was not in vain and written off as just a tragic accident. I hope other waterfowl hunters see this an take a hard look at their own safety practices. This hunt went from one of the best days of the year to one of the worst days of my life in a matter of seconds. Guys, they are just birds. Don't get in rush and compromise basic gun safety rules.
Rule # 1 - One guy in the group is designated to "call the shot". No one shoots until he/she says so. The "Pit Boss" should not call the shot if the birds are off to the sides or directly above the pit.
Rule # 2 - Never point your gun at anyone or any dog..... ever. When you pull the trigger, you are responsible for what it hits.
Rule# 3 - No shooting at low or landed birds unless instructed to by the pit boss.
Rule #4 - If you leave the blind without your gun, remove the shell and place it in the chamber sideways with the action closed (for autos) Chamber flags are also an option and can be purchased here for 12ga. SAFE TECH SAF-T-ROUND | Brownells
Rule #5 - Be aware and watch out for dogs. All dogs will make mistakes. All dogs should be in a lockable dog box or staked and leashed.
Rule #6 - Never shoot over the top of another hunter in the blind. This can lead to permanent ear damage or worse. "Shoot your zone" meaning from 10 o'clock to 2 o'clock. Guys on the right shoot the birds on the right, guy in the middle shoot the middle birds, guys on the left shoot the left birds.
Rule #7 - Everyone needs to be wearing enhanced ear protection so you can hear the pit boss and communicate. Shooting without hearing protection is unsafe and not hearing the Pit Boss is also unsafe.
Rule # 8 - Only one loaded gun per man is allowed in the pit. A second loaded gun is dangerous and can easily be knocked over during the shot or by a bird falling into the blind. Always install gun rests in your blinds that secure your gun.
Rule #9 - Always load and unload your gun with your barrel pointing out of the pit/blind. Your "Safety" is left on until your gun is shouldered and you are ready to shoot.
Rule #10 - No alcohol permitted in the blind.
Rule #11 - You must stand to shoot. (if you are in a pit or A-Frame)
Rule #12 - Be vigilant. Things can turn upside down in a matter of seconds.
We want everybody and every dog to go home safely after the hunt. Be safe and have fun!