View Full Version : How many carry a spare gun on their hunts?

Arizona Fusilier
September 26, 2004, 09:37 PM
Two years ago a brought a .270 and a .308 with me on an elk hunt, because I just wasn't sure what type of terrain and ranges I'd be encountering. Turns out, it was pretty open terrain for the most part, so I shouldered my good ol' .270. Then when alighting form a vehicle to see what was on the other side of a ridge 300 yards away, I found myself closing a bolt on a chamber that mysteriously filled with sand! I could barely close it, so I switched to my .308 soon after, and used it for the rest of the day until I could clean my .270. Then I lent my .308 to a buddy, who accidentally backed over his rifle during the hunt and broke it :o

Left that rifle with him, and he went on to bag a cow elk with it after I had to leave (with no success).

This experience has pretty much driven me to insure I have a spare weapon with me on all my hunts (and I don't mean a pistol, I mean a reasonable substitute for the primary).

How many people here have a back up gun with them on their hunts? Or bows, if that shoe fits? Why or why not?

User Name
September 27, 2004, 02:41 AM
Well I know you said not pistol...but you also said a reasonable substitute for the primary. So I have to say yes...and it's a pistol. Now I know it wouldn't work as well for you, hunting in wide open spaces (I'm assuming by the elk comment), but down here in the south my 8" 44mag will do just fine..I carry it as a "just in case" weapon and even hunt with it some, so if anything ever happend to my primary (or rifle in this case) I always have my magnum to fall back on...

September 27, 2004, 06:44 AM
I'm mostly a bird hunter... but I bring a backup gun whenever I have to travel more than about 1/2 hour from home. I'd hate to have to pack up and leave just because of a technical problem.

Also, sometimes I'll bring a 20ga as a backup to a 12ga. Then, if I'm dragging too badly but want to keep going, I can swap guns when I feed and water the dog.

September 27, 2004, 10:02 AM
I always have a back-up rifle back at the car during deer season. I also carry a .44 mag pistol. Last year it was 12 below on opening morning and the bolt on my Browning A-Bolt froze at around 10am when I got out of the stand to walk around to warm up. If I didn't have the .44, I would have had to go back to camp.

I switched to my back-up rifle for the rest of the trip. Although I got the bolt going that evening. I had always thought bolt actions were more weatherproof.

Still didn't get a deer though. They were pretty well hunkered down under the cold front.

Carlos Cabeza
September 27, 2004, 10:33 AM
Yup ! I have had a nohunt experience before and didn't like it. I was deer hunting and had to cross a creek to get to my stand. I found an old log bridge that looked like it had been used to cross the creek before. It had been raining and was fairly chilly out that morning. Well I slipped and fell into the icy creek and my rifle hit the log squarely on the reticle. My hunt was over that day. I had to wait to repair the damage till evening but managed to get in a couple of days later that week. Now I always have a backup rifle and also a sidearm legal for hunting in OK.

September 27, 2004, 11:47 AM
Rifles: Heck yeah, at least one extra, more likely 2-3 extra. CZ 550 in .270win, Marlin 1895 in .45-70 for thick brush areas, couple milsurps for backup (K31, No.4, Mk1).
Bows: Nope, only got one bow at present (dang you for asking this question - now I must get a 2nd one).
Pistol: Yup, since I now have a 8" 44 mag, I'll be taking it along too during rifle season, in case the game is right under my stand or otherwise logistics prevent me from employing the rifle.

Johnny Guest
September 27, 2004, 02:52 PM
Seldom over the past 30 years have I gone hunting for deer or larger game when there wasn't at least one spare rifle in the party. Most hunts were in company of Elder Son and/or one or two regular hunting pals. We didn't EACH have a spare primary long gun, on every hunt. Then, there have been times that three of us would have five rifles and three shotguns amongst us. The scatterguns were usually for birds, but there were always slugs or buckshot handy. We usually hunted in a three-deer county, and frequently wanted to test various guns or loads if feasible.


Shooter 973
September 27, 2004, 03:51 PM
I always take a spare rifle and at least one Magnum Handgun with me when I hunt! I've needed the spare rifle just once and it was a hunt saver for me. As for the handgun I always take a large bore with just for the fun of it. I have taken 3 deer with the handguns and 1 with the spare rifle. Have seen scopes get foggy, friend broke stock of his rifel, have one fellow come with out ammo for his rifle. Spare rifle in my truck made a differance to the hunts at these times. Cheap insurance. Mostly a Win 30-30 lever. :)

September 27, 2004, 04:24 PM
Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. I don't like the idea of leaving expensive gear in and about the campsite even if it's locked in a vehicle. A lot of times I'll only take my usual "go to" rifle with me, which is a stainless synthetic gun. This year I want to try for an elk with a pristine blue/wood rifle. I will take my "go to" gun as a spare, because I'll carry that in any weather conditions but I'm not going to carry the blue/wood gun in an all day rain or snow storm.

Johnny Guest
September 27, 2004, 05:37 PM
1997, Colorado elk season - - Coming off a hillside in the San Juan forest, in a heavy snowfall, I had apparently solid footing collapse beneath me. Fell about 40 feet straight down, on top of my .338. (Okay, that was a lie. Really more like eight or ten feet. But it FELT like forty.) My (then) 235 pounds-plus-daypack and the rocky stream bed didn't do my rifle and scope any good a-tall.

After I got my breath back and Elder Son helped me back up the stream bank, we slogged back to the truck. I wiped off my Mauser and cased it. Then dug out my old Ruger 77 in .30'06, and carried it around the rest of the week. It did just a good a job of not shooting elk as the .338 would (wouldn't??) have done. :p (I trust either rifle would have served well - - Just never saw anything legal to shoot.)


September 27, 2004, 08:53 PM
i always carry a spare rifle after having a scope go bad on one with out iron sights. plus i always carry my 44 or 454 handgun.

Quickdraw Limpsalot
September 28, 2004, 07:07 AM
There's not alot of need for one behind my parents' house (where most of my hunting's done,) but if I were headed out tomorrow for a Deer, Boar, Bear, etc. hunt I'd probably grab a few to take along.
Most likely, I'd grab a Marlin 336CS in .35 Rem. w/ see through scope mounts (in case I take one of those spills described earlier in this thread) as well as a Raging Bull .454 Casull to use as a sidearm OR primary, depending on the game being hunted (or the terrain to be crossed.)

If I were going far from home, I'd probably grab my other lever action (Revelation 30-30 [made by Marlin, I think?] just to have another around.

October 12, 2004, 06:35 PM
PS. Quickdraw, that's the best user name I've heard in a loooong time - lmao! :)

October 12, 2004, 10:38 PM
I've given this topic alot of thought. Back in 2003 I went spring bear hunting in Idaho which was a very long plane ride from home. I brought a 700 BDL in 30-06 and a Guide Gun in 45-70. I thought these two rifles would see me through whatever conditions arose. As it turned out the 30-06 with 180 grain Silvertips was more than enough to take two good sized black bears. If I repeat this trip or a similar one I would bring two rifles of the same caliber. The two rifles should include one that is weather resistant. Part of my thinking includes the restrictions imposed by air travel, i.e. at that time I was allowed to fly with 11 pounds of ammunition. Not that I needed 11 pounds of ammunition - approximately five boxes of cartridges. However, I like to practice when I get where I'm going and make sure nothing has shifted during travel.
A few years ago on a wild boar bowhunt I brought a model 94 in 30-30 as a backup. You never know a sting or cable could break, things happen. As it turned out I did not need the rifle, but a good friend had a problem with his bow and he used my 30-30 to take his wild boar.
When I travel a distance to hunt, I would always bring a backup gun.

October 14, 2004, 10:19 PM
Last time we went into Montana, we had a tangle with a mule team and ended up snapping off the stock of my cousin's A-Bolt. We spent the rest of the hunt sharing a gun until we got him a replacement on one of our "meat runs".

I picked up an old 30-06 and now carry it behind the seat of the truck for just such occurances.

High Mountain Hunting Supply

October 15, 2004, 11:46 AM
We always carry one gun extra with us when we go up to hunt just in case. Im thinking about bringing my .22 revolver with me on hunts too, for that occasional ring-tailed cat or raccoon that gets in the stands.

October 17, 2004, 02:20 PM
Its pretty rare for me to go on a hunt with only one firearm. I never fly to hunt, but always drive. This gives me the luxury of having several firearms with me. For example, if I am going off to hunt deer in the SW Virginia mountains, I take a .270 Mannlicher-Schoenauer rifle, maybe an 8MM M-S full length stocked carbine, my 1894S Marlin in .44 mag, and possibly m Ruger International rifle in .250/3000 Ackley.

October 23, 2004, 01:36 AM
More often that not you will run int both state and federal regualtions that prohibit carrying different rifles on a hunt, mainly into controlled areas. Just read most of our articles and they were great ones.........shows some simple understanding of being prepared to meet your quarry facd on face.'

One area of concern down here im the south is that we can carry any sidearm with us while we are hunting appropriate game, but we cannot have a sidearm pistol or revolver along when we are muzzleloading hunting. Maybe i'm wrong, but.......i do carry a revolver on the muzzleloading hunt loaded with CCI Snake Shots which can ve very effective at the most inappropriate of times. Has anyone tried out besides myself a new Remington 700 Mountain rifle LSS that is chambered in .260 Remington. Have been vey impressed with this calibre considered they necked a .308 case down to accept the european 6.5 type bullets with various loads and grains of bullets.look up some of the balastics on the .260 Rem 120-140 grains available to the general public............maybe you will be as happily supprised as i was..very low recoil but devestating performace on gamme..........spprecciate any feedback at all.