Following on from on the previous When to Load Up interested in when people actually release the safety catch and in particualr where the Rifle is pointed.
I have a three position catch - 1) Fire, 2) safe but bolt can open, 3) safe but bolt locked.
I use 2) when loading, unloading and for wen shot is imminent and 3) when carrying the loaded rifle.
My ritual is to move the safety catch from 3) to 2) when shot is imminent and then to fully release once I am in the firing position, rifle butt in the shoulder and on shooting sticks / or bipod and ready to take the shot, but rifle is pointing at solid ground and not at any live target.
I also tend to use the set trigger - particularly long shots requring careful aim, and likewise set the trigger with rifle pointing well away from the target.
I then aim at the beast and only put finger on trigger as sights become aligned. Often I may have the catch released for two or three minutes as beast steadies down or awaiting it turning to give the best shot.
As soon as the opportunity passes I reaply the safety catch which also unsets the trigger so again when reaplying make sure pointed in safe direction.
My logic is most dangerous is going from change of state, and if a rifel should go off when releasing the safety the bullet will go into the ground scaring the beast rather than risk a non lethal wound.
But I know others may do something different.