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Whether you’re hunting quail, chuckar or pheasant, we want the memory of your shoot to be a good one. You can help ensure this by having a safe hunt.

Every year hunters are killed in hunting accidents in the United States. By virtue of the way quail fly, constantly shifting variables, and the sheer number of lives within the killing proximity of a shotgun, quail hunting offers the greatest potential for an accident of all the upland game bird opportunities.

Morning hunts at Red Rock Ranch are scheduled from 9:30 to noon. Afternoon hunts begin at 2:00 and end at 4:30. As an additional safety measure, no alcoholic beverages may be consumed prior to or during hunting hours. Red Rock Ranch discourages betting by hunters. We believe this introduces a hazardous situation that encourages hunters to take an unsafe shot. A blaze orange hunting vest is required before you enter the field. We’ll loan you a vest to wear. Blaze orange caps and clothing are available for sale in our pro shop.

Voluntary practice at the trap range takes place overlooking the Arkansas River. Many of our guests are first-time hunters and others may not have hunted for many years, so it’s a good idea to shoot trap to get the feel of the shotgun you’ll be using.

At 9:15 am, you’ll meet your guide and move to an area of the ranch where you and your partner will be separated from the other hunters. As a safety measure, each hunting group at Red Rock Ranch is positioned well away from all other hunters and activities.

Before you reach for your shotgun, please remember that mankind has never invented a more effective close-range weapon of destruction than the shotgun. It rips, separates and destroys objects at close range.

Treat your shotgun with respect.

You should always make sure your shotgun is on safety before loading. Make certain that you load your shotgun while facing away from other hunters and dogs. Then raise the muzzle and approach the point, remaining constantly aware of the direction of the muzzle. Do not release the safety until birds are in the air and your gun is positioned at your shoulder and you’re ready to shoot.

Now the excitement begins and the adrenaline builds toward the explosion of whirring wings. This moment requires all the mental capability and concentration you possess.

You and your hunting partner should always be two steps ahead and on either side of your guide. You and your partner should always remain in a straight line, a step or two ahead of your guide.

The next thing your must do is locate the five variables that are your responsibility to place at all times. They are: Number 1: your partner. Number 2: your guide. Number 3: Dog number one. Number 4: Dog number 2; and Number 5: the vehicle.

Vehicles will not usually be in close range to your shooting opportunities, but we must assume that there could be a vehicle in range somewhere nearby.

Given the fact that you have each of the five variables located, you have a range of swing available. Should one or more of the five factors that you’re responsible for be located in your slice of the pie, you must be aware of them. You must be willing to pass up shots in order to be a truly safe and courteous hunter. One of our guides’ most frequent concerns about our guests involves the number of times that the muzzle of a shotgun is pointed at the guide or your hunting partner.

If you have a double barrel or over and under shotgun, which we strongly prefer, break it open and cradle it on your forearm. If you have any other type of shotgun, the muzzle must be pointed up and away from people at all times. The suitcase carry, over the shoulder and parallel sling are carry styles that we know to be extremely dangerous and must be avoided.

A frequent accident among hunters that saddens everyone involves the shooting of one of the bird dogs. It will completely ruin your hunt as well as break your guide’s heart since he’s very close to his dogs. This accident can be avoided by following one hard and fast rule: Never drop your shotgun below a horizontal plane with the ground in an attempt to shoot a low flying bird.

We recognize that dogs and vehicles are important, but human life is by far the most precious responsibility to preserve in the field.

It’s so easy to break the hunting formation by pausing to get set for the flush while the guide and your partner continue to move forward. If this happens, you have definitely jeopardized their lives by placing them in front of your shotgun muzzle. Another example of the hunting formation being broken is when the guide moves forward to retrieve the birds. Never take a shot at a bird that may come into view at this time.

Remember, you must be willing to pass up a shot in order to assure the safety of everyone. This serious breach of safety occurs mostly with experienced hunters. We believe that a degree of overconfidence and adrenalin encourages more experienced hunters to sometimes take a shot at a stray bird and thus endanger the life of your partner, the guide or one of the dogs. Again, please be willing to pass up these shots.

Exercising good hunting safety takes concentration and awareness of the terrible consequences that could occur from overconfidence or carelessness.

Red Rock Ranch exists to showcase some of Oklahoma’s finest outdoor scenery and a hunting experience you will want to relive again and again. If each of you accepts your responsibility and places safety as your highest priority for a successful hunt, your visit to Red Rock Ranch will truly be a memorable and enriching experience.

 Again, welcome to Red Rock Ranch and good shooting.

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