As I have mentioned in the past I am a volunteer hunter education instructor.
I specialize in firearms & firearms handling and laws & regulations.
I'm certified as an instructor in 'Basic Hunter Education', 'Trapper Education' and 'Map, Compass & Survival' (Basic orienteering & 72 hr. woods survival technique).
I am certified as an employee instructor by the NH Dept. of Fish & Game and MA Dept. of Fisheries & Wildlife. Further I am instructor certified by the Intl. Hunter Education Association (IHEA), the US Fish & Wildlife Service and Smith & Wesson Company.
I was recruited by and am member of two instructor teams; Smith & Wesson Company and the USFWS.
I volunteer my time away from my family to instruct at least a course a month, every month, except December. This past October I instructed two courses back to back across a 2 week spread; Trapper Education and Waterfowl Identification (Duck hunting).
Anyone who has _EVER_ taken any firearm involved course with me will know that I am extremely anal and RIGID about following gun safety rules. I am not just this way in class but IRL be I alone or with others.
I am absolutely required to come home and do so in one piece exactly as I'd left, with no exceptions.
The following arrived in my mailbox this morning as forwarded to me by the S&W Co. instructor team leader.
It was sent to him by the NH state instructor coordinator with whom we all work with and for.
Whether you hunt or just pop tin cans in your backyard with Airsoft guns, please read the following and MEMORIZE the multiple lessons as detailed below.
These are lessons taught and drilled as in the courses I instruct.
Unfortunately neither of these persons took one of my classes or that of any instructor among either of my teams.
Here is a picture of a muzzleloaders projectile...From: Davison, Peter
Sent: Monday, November 02, 2009 2:56 PM
Subject: Hunting Accidents
As you might already have heard, the opening of muzzleloader season in NH brought with it two accidents, one fatal. Just so you all have the facts straight, I've copied a press release for your information.
News from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department
Phone: (603) 271-3211
For information and online licenses, visit
N.H. Fish and Game Department - Welcome
* * * * * * *
Lt. Robert Bryant: 603-271-3127
Jane Vachon: 603-271-3211
Pete Davison, Hunter Education
November 2, 2009
TWO SELF-INFLICTED HUNTING-RELATED SHOOTING INCIDENTS IN N.H., ONE FATAL
CONCORD, N.H. -- Two hunting-related shooting incidents occurred in New Hampshire on Saturday, October 31, the opening day of the state’s muzzleloader season for deer. One was fatal.
In Rindge, N.H., Timothy Letourneau of Rindge, age 21, was killed when his muzzleloader discharged shortly after he had gotten into his treestand. Letourneau had been hunting with his brother on land off Old Jaffrey Road, where the pair had landowner permission to hunt. The landowner called 911 just before 4 p.m. on Saturday (October 31) to report that a hunter had been shot. New Hampshire Fish and Game Conservation Officers, Rindge Police and Rindge Fire and Rescue responded. Letourneau was transported to Monadnock Community Hospital in Peterborough, where he was pronounced dead from an accidental gunshot wound, according to N.H. Fish and Game Lt. Craig Morrocco.
Also on Saturday afternoon, a deer hunter was injured in Ossippee. Robert LaPointe of Somersworth, age 66, was pulling his muzzleloader up into his treestand about 1:45 p.m. when the gun got stuck on a branch, which pulled the trigger. The gun was fully loaded (with cap) and pointed upwards. It went off and shot LaPointe in the hand at close range, causing serious injury. LaPointe was transported to Huggins Hospital in Wolfeboro, then transferred to Maine Medical Center in Portland, according to N.H. Fish and Game Conservation Officer Mark Hensel.
"When you bring a firearm up into a treestand, the gun must be unloaded – for muzzleloaders, uncapped – with the safety on. Also, control the direction of the muzzle of your firearm; know exactly where it’s pointing at all times," said Hensel.
Overall, New Hampshire has a strong record for hunter safety, largely attributable to the state's effective hunter education programs. The average number of hunting-related incidents per year has gone down each decade since mandatory hunter education classes became required in the 1960s. The 1960s saw an average of 21.4 incidents per year in New Hampshire. Fewer incidents have occurred each decade since, with an average of 3.1 incidents per year since 2000. Serious incidents are even rarer – the recent death brings to four the total number of hunting-related fatalities that have occurred in the state in the last 15 years.
Ten Commandments of Hunting Safety:
1. Treat every firearm with the same respect due a loaded firearm.
2. Control the direction of your firearm's muzzle.
3. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
4. Be sure the barrel and action are clear of obstructions.
5. Unload firearms when not in use.
6. Never point a firearm at anything you do not intend to shoot.
7. Never climb a fence or tree, or jump a ditch or log, with a loaded firearm.
8. Never shoot a bullet at a flat, hard surface or water.
9. Store firearms and ammunition separately.
10. Avoid alcoholic beverages or other mood-altering drugs before or while shooting.
"If you’re going to use a treestand, be sure to follow all the manufacturer’s directions, including use of a safety harness to secure yourself to the tree while in the stand," said Lt. Morrocco. For more information on treestand safety, visit
Treestand Manufacturers Association.
Hunter Education Coordinator
NH Fish and Game Dept.
11 Hazen Drive, Concord NH 03301
Even as unexpanded a muzzleloader projectile is 50 caliber nominal. Never mind close contact wounding as from expanded gasses at the muzzle and out as far as 4 FEET!
Firearm - Bolt action inline muzzleloader with 24" barrel length
Cartridge - Barnes Spit-Fire TMZ copper hollowpoint, 50 caliber sabot with 290gr 0.456" sub-projectile. Item # 45190. Propellant charge was 100gr of Hodgdon Triple Seven (2 pellets), with 209 primer.
Source - 50 Caliber Barnes Spit-Fire TMZ
The gasses alone will DESTROY flesh. The projectile AND gasses will DESTROY a hand and quite possibly cause death as due to major blood loss alone, as at the hand!
Do not be stupid. Think about this. Use your noodle.
I use sharp language here for specific reason.
Because if I do not now you may not later come home with both hands, or maybe even not at all...Just like these two gentlemen.
One dead and the other suffering a so called "minor" wound.
Follow the rules people.
They just might save you from a minor wound.
Because it's a no brainer, or rather no hander.
Learn lessons from the mistakes and ignorance of others.
That is one way to actively save your own life.
P.S. - The instructor team lead and chief at the USFWS office where I instruct has asked if I'd be interested in co-instructing with him a muzzleloader course come next spring. I told him of course, and it's necessary.
I am right now prepped and dressed getting ready to go, in 10 minutes, on a drive to spend my day in a tree stand to hunt bear with him on his private property. And you can darn bet we both will be pulling our rifles up into the air as with empty chambers AND unloaded! Why?
If ever my name is featured in a newspaper article or memo such as the above then I promise you I will eat my gun and every one of the left over rounds, as soon as I'm released from the hospital.
I swear it.
I am serious about this. Because my wife and kids expect and require as much.
As do my fellow instructors who like me are very serious about firearm safety of use, the states of MA & NH, the USFWS and S&W Co....as well as every student who sees my face in a course.