Phil Melugin founded Pheasant Run Ranch to provide a safe environment for hunters. With guided hunts and required safety provisions, Phil Melugin and the staff at Pheasant Run Ranch put safety first. Whether you’re hunting at Pheasant Run Ranch or at another location, Phil Melugin suggests some basic safety measures that should be followed at all times:
- Safe Clothing—While many hunters deliberately dress themselves in colors that blend with the scenery, this can be dangerous for your own safety. Phil Melugin says that blaze orange vests, hats, and clothing will help you stand out in the greens and browns of the wooded areas that most hunters frequent. Phil Melugin adds that hunters should wear long pants to protect legs from scratches, especially during fall and winter hunting.
- Gun Safety—According to Phil Melugin, a gun should be treated as if it is loaded at all times. Leave the barrels empty until you arrive at your hunting spot and keep the safety engaged at all times when you aren’t actively using it. Phil Melugin emphasizes that this precaution also includes when you’re walking from one hunting spot to another.
- Clearly Identify your Target—Before you shoot, Phil Melugin stresses the importance of visually identifying the target. If you are ever in doubt, don’t fire that gun, Phil Melugin warns. Visitors to Pheasant Run Ranch are taught to fire only when absolutely certain no hunters or hunting dogs are in the area. According to Phil Melugin, you should know the exact location of every hunter and hunting dog in the area at all times.
- Protect your Ears—Hearing damage can result from excessive exposure to gunshot noise, points out Phil Melugin. Hunters should wear earplugs. Phil Melugin adds that this is especially important in the ear closest to the gun.
- Take a Hunting Safety Course—Hunting and gun safety courses are available throughout the country, Phil Melugin tells hunters. No matter your level of experience in hunting, Phil Melugin says that these courses can teach you valuable safety information that can save a life.
- Always shoot horizontally—Phil Melugin believes in the importance of safeguarding the hunting dogs on his property. According to Phil Melugin, shots toward the ground are strictly forbidden at Pheasant Run Ranch and as a general rule, hunters should avoid shooting lower than horizontally.
As hunting increases in popularity, Phil Melugin states that hunters should regularly revisit these safety rules to emphasize their importance. On his own property, Phil Melugin puts safety as a top priority, believing that while hunting is fun and exciting, it’s important to keep everyone safe.