Minuscule or not, it happens. A peanut allergy is no comparison. It is often an unknown to the person with the allergy.
The hunters carrying their guns loaded are fully aware of it and yet they still end up shooting themselves.Accidental or not, they chose to walk around with a loaded gun. You can argue they were idiots and didn't practice safe gun handling. You might be right. How many guys actually check their safety after loading a round or just take it for granted that is is working properly? How many people take the safety off in a hunting situation that ends up not presenting a shot and forget to reset the safety?
Not trying to start an argument. You can't argue the fact that it doesn't happen enough to matter. I'm sure the guys who shot themselves would disagree with you. So would their loved ones.
If your hunting alone then it doesn't matter. You only have yourself to blame if something bad does happen.
People on hunting shows have to worry about fellow hunters and their camera man. Safety is always their number one priority, so they choose to chamber only when a shot opportunity presents itself. Probably why you have never seen a hunter get shot on TV.
Why does there appear to be a different standard between rifles and shotguns. I can't think of a situation except MAYBE turkey hunting where the shotgun is unloaded until the game is sighted. And not just a pleasant stroll through a groomed pasture looking for a covey of quail but also a gruelling climb through steep rocky wind blown ridges following the tracks of a bunch of chukar. I will gaurantee you that if you're carrying an unloaded gun while chukar hunting until a flush there won't be many birds in the vest. So if walking and hunting upland birds locked and loaded is typical & accepted as the norn why is it considered unsafe or more hazardous while big game hunting?
I suppose you can work on the assumption that every one out there is a Barney Fife barely capable of safely carrying his (or her) only bullet in the shirt pocket until needed. Seems kind of obsessive to me though. The peanut alergy analogy isn't far off. We're getting close to the time where just because one out of tens of thousands have severe reactions to peanuts, no one can have any. If you doubt this, try to remember the last time you got that cheap little bag of peanuts on a plane trip. Like Ca was saying, over restricting hunting activities because of a really small percentage of accidents or misshaps weather by design, accident or stupidity does a disservice to the majority of hunters out there.
When I'm actively hunting I'm chambered and ready to go. Once I have decided I'm done hunting or once I confirm my animal is down I open the bolt, push the rounds down in the magazine and close the bolt making sure it rides over the cartridges. Essentially carrying an unchambered rifle that's still loaded. Once back to camp or vehicle I fully unload the rifle.
For shotgun. I'm loaded and chambered when I hit the field. Fully unload when I get back to the truck or just before I approach it.
I've learned when out in the woods, especially alone, it's always a good idea to have a loaded firearm with you, or one that you can quickly chamber, you just never know. Follow proper fireams safety and you won't have any problems.
First make sure your gun is safe, remove the bolt and clean your barrel from the chamber to the end of muzzle. Clean the barrel using butchers bore shine until a patch comes out white. Run a total of 5 separate patches soaked with denatured alcohol through the bore and let dry for 30 minutes. Insert a cleaning rod with a jag and a dry patch into the neck of the chamber. Make sure it will stay there through the next process. Now using another cleaning rod, install a patch that has been coated...