Unload Your Gun or Leave the Dog at Home

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     So far, 2011-12 is shaping up as the hunting season of “dogs strike back” or “put a puppy behind the trigger.”

     There have been two instances of dogs shooting their owners – so far. Now one instance of a dog shooting its owner is a rarity. Something Rabid Outdoorsmen can scratch their heads over and wonder how the heck that happened. Well, wonder no more. Here are the details.

     In November, the Deseret News of Salt Lake City reported that a Brigham City man was duck hunting with a buddy on the north end of the Great Salt Lake. The hunter got out of the boat to mess with some decoys and set his 12-gauge shotgun across the bow of the boat. His dog jumped up on the bow and the gun fired when the dog stepped on it. It shot him “right in the buttocks” to quote Forrest Gump. Fortunately he was wearing heavy rubber waders or the injury would have been worse. The police reporting the incident did not get the dog’s name or breed. The dog probably wasn’t talking anyway.

     Just 10 days later, in December, Bay News 9 of St. Petersburg, Fla., reported a 78-year-old man went out deer hunting near Wesley Chapel. He and his dog were traveling on a bumpy road to a hunting stand when the dog got excited and stepped on the man’s Browning .308 rifle. The hunter got it in the upper thigh. The reporter didn’t think the dog, a bulldog named Eli, did it on purpose.

     Both hunters survived their injuries, but not without some extreme embarrassment. But the disturbing point made in both reports is that not only did the dogs “cause” the guns to fire, but they apparently knocked the safeties off.

     Now I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t it just a little mysterious that the dogs knew to click the safety off before the gun would fire?

     We here are Rabid Outdoors headquarters deplore this new trend. Using a bulldog to hunt deer! What’s next? Making Uga go gator hunting? Oh, wait, he already does that.

     The moral of these truly tawdry tales is leave the dog at home or keep you gun unloaded. Either should keep your dog from shooting you. Well, at least until the dog learns how to load the gun.

     This has been a public service advisory of Rabid Outdoors, a seller of fine hats and apparel.