Hunting Safer with SafeShoot | New Help in the Moment of Truth

Hunting Safer with SafeShoot | New Help in the Moment of Truth
Hunting Safer with SafeShoot | New Help in the Moment of Truth

U.S.A.-( It’s a funny thing, sensitivity. Years ago, my biology professor explained sensory overload and the first time I was sprayed by a skunk, seconds after I sent a mess of shot through it with a semi-auto 12-gauge, her message made sense; as quickly as the spray overwhelmed me, it disappeared. I couldn’t smell a thing. Unfortunately, my wife’s senses are world-class and she locked me out of the house. After a solid hour of bathing in a concoction my wife threw together, the stench dissipated. I still couldn’t smell it but my wife suggested it was at least tolerable.

While desensitization worked great for me in that particularly shameful event, the consequences of my ill-planned attack on the skunk played out rather harshly on my wife. It reminds of something my Pop always said, “Life is full of choices; however, the consequences are clearly defined.” So there I was, years ago, a witness to the consequences of poor planning and becoming desensitized.

Like most lessons, I internalize each and every one… and somehow, good or bad, assign them roles in governing virtually every aspect of my life. Fitting then, as a hunter, how a similar chain of events can impact outdoor pursuits, change lives, ruin them forever, and even erase them from existence here on Earth. The finality of this reality should be both jaunting and haunting. Prospect of the tragic latter should always rest squarely on our minds, not occupying our every thought but ever present and never desensitized; after all, bad things happen when we live life on auto-pilot, including on the hunt.

Years ago, but years since the skunk incident, I was reminded of this lesson with more serious consequences. My shot shattered the eerie silence of early dawn on the edge of the slough – nothing but the crack of the shot, followed by consequence.

Bitter cold bit at my cheeks as we trekked the half-mile to our favorite marsh in the back corner of a public wildlife management area. My buddy’s young retriever, Daisy, lit out ahead of us and disappeared into the night but not terribly far, we could hear her heavy breath and the pads of her paws running through the brush; she was in high spirits. Once we arrived, we donned our waders, set the decoys and settled in to wait for shooting time.

The setup was perfect, nestled in the trees, knee deep in water, wind in our faces and decoys set in a clear cove just yards in front of us.
The setup was perfect, nestled in the trees, knee deep in water, wind at our backs and decoys set in a clear cove just yards in front of us.

We laughed and joked for a short spell and let Daisy explore the bank until darkness began to loosen its grip. With shooting light upon the ducks were increasingly easy to spot. The setup was perfect, nestled in the trees, knee deep in water, wind at our backs and decoys set in a clear cove just yards in front of us. They dropped in quickly and often, in the first half-hour we had three ducks between us. Then it happened.

A lone mallard drake flew dropped in and my buddy folded his wings just 30 yards away. Always itching to go, Daisy lit out after the floating duck. As she did, another teal slid in low and to my right. I mounted, tracked and shot. The shot cracked loudly, seemingly louder because it was one I thought in the last millisecond, I shouldn’t take but had already committed, physically, to action. As quickly as the shot rang out, I was sick; I couldn’t take it back. Feathers burst in every direction and Daisy thrashed in the water. We were stunned but watched, sickened by the turn of events in an instant.

What seemed to take forever to unfold in front of us, truth be told, only took a couple of seconds. Daisy found her footing and started back, my buddy’s mallard in her mouth and unscathed. Somehow, I had shot over her, perhaps missing by mere inches… or several feet as my buddy would tell the story; he’s probably right. But the meat of the story, the takeaway, is this: I had duck hunted for years and become a bit too comfortable. I flew on auto-pilot in the marsh, desensitized to the dangers waiting for me to let my guard down. When the guard went down, it happened. I was lucky but the consequence was quit real and impactful – what I felt during and immediately after the shot. I wished something would have stopped me sooner… my senses or perhaps, simply, an enhanced awareness. I also couldn’t help but think how it could be, someday, another hunter – stranger things have happened.

While the thrill of the hunt continues to tug me off the grid where great things happen but danger remains, I’m glad to see forward-thinking, high-tech innovation finally put to incredibly honorable use. SafeShoot has defined a first-of-its-kind system dedicated to saving lives on the hunt. Wearing SafeShoot devices and mounting them on firearms allows the system to warn shooters anytime another hunter or four-legged friend has wandered into a line of fire.

SafeShoot also recently released the Defender, specifically designed for hunting dogs.
SafeShoot also recently released the Defender, specifically designed for hunting dogs.

As it relates to my personal experience. SafeShoot also recently released the Defender. The SafeShoot Defender is specifically designed for hunting dogs. Check out their website before you head back into the woods. Somethings you just can’t take back; a bullet and No. 4 steel shot to name a couple.

About Kevin Reese:Kevin Reese

Kevin is an award-winning outdoor writer, photographer, videographer, speaker, host of Global Outfitters TV Show’s GO Tips and a Marine Corps veteran. He owns and administers and Main Beam Blog at The Main Beam Blog offers great articles, press releases, outdoor industry news and reviews.


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This is the stupidest AND MOST DANGEROUS device any hunter could be using. It is designed to give the hunter “peace of mind” that he doesn’t have any need to be sure of his target or what is around/behind it — thus encouraging idiots to “safely” shoot into bushes because they think they see/hear something moving. The device does not even work as described in the real world because it relies on the gun-mounted receiver seeing the beacon on the transmitter mounted on the dog and any other hunters. It cannot detect any other hunter or any other person who… Read more »


Tom, you seem angry about something else and stumbled upon this read. The device does not remove responsibility. It’s simply an added measure. No problem in my book. If it’s a problem in yours there are plenty of other great articles to read. Best regards.


While I agree too many people hang too much crap on their rifles, there is some justification for this product if it lives up to its promise. It reminds me of the IR tags on Army uniforms and vehicles. In some areas (like northern Michigan) public and private lands are sort of blended, and hunters wander onto private land, whether deliberately or not. Inside the forests it can be hard to know what’s on the other side of some brush. I’ve also been up in my stand on private land and had fox hunters with their dogs circle the tree… Read more »

Michael Murphy

Kevin, As to your fake story, just make the point! Hunters need to be safe all the time. No tool or trick or gimmick or gadget works better than your brain. Safety comes FIRST! Next, as to your style, think about proofreading. “Grammar check” would have caught several problems and helped even the semi-intelligent reader comprehend your points. As your Pop said, “the consequences are clearly defined.” Re-read before you hit “submit.” Pop would actually be proud of you. Complete sentences eliminate distractions and attempts to make sense of your words. Fragments are called fragments for a reason. Finally, is… Read more »

Kevin Reese

Michael, I do see a couple corrections to be made that I will contact the editor on. I’m neither the editor or the guy who posts the article. Not sure how “Dixie” got in there. The retriever’s name was most definitely Daisy. Years after the incident she succumbed to cancer. The story was 100% true, regardless of what you think. The shot was an error more than anything and one that has stuck with me. Since then I’ve always been acutely aware and sensitive to low shooting, including while dogs are retrieving a duck previously shot. If you’ve duck hunted… Read more »

Wild Bill

Reese, Thank you for taking time to send your reply. That alone shows that you are a concerned and caring author. Merry Faith Based Christmas to you.

Michael Murphy

While I, too, appreciate your reply to my comment, you introduce an interesting concept. It remains, however, completely disengenuous to hang blame on others for your failure to provide finality and accuracy to your article. Remember, you must accept the “consequences.” They are yours and yours, alone!
Michael Murphy

Kevin Reese

I would respond again but it’s clearly pointless. Merry Christmas.


I don’t hunt with dogs, so I can’t comment on the author’s new toy. I did note all the crap he has on his rifle. It must weigh a ton and swing like a lead sled. Too many people just keep adding stuff because it is cool, whether it serves a viable function all the time or not. I have a bi-pod for my AR, but leave it off unless I am going to be in a situation where it is required. I don’t need laser sights on it or a flashlight or a beer opener to go hunting or… Read more »

Kevin Reese

Not my rifle. I grabbed the image from the company’s website.


The guy or woman who is holding the firearm should be the SAFE SHOOT, so what now? you going rely on your safe shoot system to keep you from shooting your dog? stunningly stupid, I dont ever hunt or shoot with fools NEVER. What could be more important than KNOWING down range is clear, DISGUSTING.


It’s not “relying” on anything, it’s just one more tool and if it works as advertised it’s a damn good one. I have no idea how much bird or rabbit hunting you’ve done with dogs but you’re comment of “disgusting” certainly shows a good deal of ignorance.


@Clark Kent: You sir, are an idiot and most likely have never hunted in the field with dogs. I’m astounded by how many people sit behind their keyboards and spout off crap they obviously have no knowledge about.

Kevin Reese

Thanks, Vanns40. Merry Christmas.


Excellent idea. Decades ago a rabbit hunter on our property accidentally killed his best dog because he had lost track of it and it was too close to the rabbit that was in the brush. The anguish that he went through was horrible.


Here’s a novel idea, tell us about the product.

Kevin Reese


You’re right, I should do an article specifically on the product. In this article I simply recalled a bad memory and thought it would be good to briefly introduce a piece of equipment that could potentially save folks from a tragic situation — let people know something is out there. Thanks for your comment. I’ll likely circle back after the holidays and talk specifically about the product. It’s a worthy topic. Merry Christmas.

Roy D.

Kevin’s bio leaves out one thing; that he is a dumba**.

Kevin Reese

Roy, name calling… pretty disappointing. I share an experience from many years ago that has made me a much better hunter while introducing folks to something new that can help them avoid a similar circumstance but that may also include a much more severe result than a near miss on a dog? I was fortunate then and as a result of that one close call with Daisy, today I remain a safer hunter acutely aware of what’s happening around me. Merry Christmas.

Clark Kent

Wow. Why not put a ballistic helmet on your hunting pooch? Some folks just don’t understand that firearms safety resides BETWEEN YOUR EARS, not upon any safety mechanism, gadget or gizmo.