View Full Version : Sidearm while hunting?

December 21, 2005, 09:59 AM
A friend and I were getting ready to go out and hunt. I'd also add that I'm pretty new to hunting. Then he asks me if I brought my handgun with me. I ask him why? He says I should have a handgun with me because people can just walk up on you during hunting season and it might be a good idea. There aren't any dangerous animals no bears or anything like that where I live. So I was wondering do you guys carry openly or ccw while hunting? Thoughts?

Jack O'Conner
December 21, 2005, 10:05 AM
I carry a small 22 revolver. Sometimes the animal needs a shot into the back of the skull to finish it.

Art Eatman
December 21, 2005, 10:41 AM
I'll carry a Redhawk when out quail hunting, just in case Bambi shows up. When deer hunting, I've never worried about Bad People. Why? I already have a .30-'06...


Rich Lucibella
December 21, 2005, 10:56 AM
I always carry a sidearm while hunting. Partly for a finishing shot; partly for varmints and target rocks; partly for personal protection; mostly "because I can". ;)

December 21, 2005, 12:28 PM
Art, I told my friend the same thing. I told him I have a 30-'06 with 4 rounds in it. If someone can eat one of those and keep coming they're a bad mother;).


December 21, 2005, 12:46 PM
I always carry a .40 S&W, often concealed. I'm looking to move up to a big-bore revolver, though. And I'm with Rich on the reason. I just do it 'cause I can.

john in jax
December 21, 2005, 03:46 PM
I've got a 6" bbl .44mag I'll carry if I expect to do any scouting in thick brush. Having both hands free and a short, quick firearm readily available while crossing ditches, plowing through briars, and wading through chest high palmettoes(sp?) is a good thing.

But if I'm just heading straight to the stand and then home, I don't usually carry a sidearm.

December 21, 2005, 03:51 PM
Another +1 to Rich.

December 21, 2005, 04:27 PM
Yup. Always.

December 22, 2005, 12:50 AM
Yes, always.

After all these years it still freaks me the hell out to walk through the woods in the pitch dark. Especially on public land. That's part of the reason.

December 22, 2005, 03:10 AM
I never used to carry, thinking I had my shotgun with me, but what happens when you put it down to clean, or eat, etc. I carry a 1911, with either my 22 conversion (for rabbits) or the stock .45 barrel. I try to carry concealed, i prefer others not knowing I'm carrying it. Just my personal preference.

December 22, 2005, 07:41 AM
In Ohio it is illegal to carry a concealed weapon while hunting even if you have a CCW permit. I don’t understand why, but it’s the law.

Art Eatman
December 22, 2005, 09:09 AM
The great majority of my hunting has been walking hunting. I've had numerous days of twelve to fifteen miles. I travel as light as I can.

I guess part of the deal for me is that in the last forty years I've seen the other guys first. Heck, if I'm hunting Bambi, people are easy. I've seen other guys out in the back country and I just work out ahead of them to see what they flush out for me to look at.

Every now and then I'd have occasion to say, "Thanks, fellers..."

:), Art

December 22, 2005, 10:15 AM
I always carry in woods. I guess partly from my job ( Police Officer) I carry a handgun with me everyday, so it is natural to carry into the woods. I carry a 4" .357 Mag when in the woods. Basically for all the reasons given to finish off wounded animals, snake shot, etc..

December 23, 2005, 10:16 AM
I always carry a revolver when hunting. Most of the time its a Ruger SA Vaquero in .45 Colt. I use a custom made across the chest full flap holster. Where I hunt in the swamps, its good to have the revolver above water. :)
Why? Mostly because I want to, and can. There have been only a few times in the past 50 years of hunting where I actually used it, but I always have it.

December 23, 2005, 08:04 PM
I do whenever i can.

December 23, 2005, 09:35 PM
So you don't have any big bad animals in your area, hm?

How about feral hogs? Coyotes? Hogs are infamous for refusing to die like they ought to, decently and with one shot :D No, they take a gun-full and then some. If you, like me, are not the sort that can just scamper up the nearest tree, I would strongly suggest carrying a sidearm that holds a lot of nasty bullets.

If I'm out by myself, I always carry the XD-40. If I'm out with hubster, I carry my .380 and he carries the .40.

But I would never go out with just my rifle. I love it, I trust it, but it only holds 3 (or 3+1) and the .40 carries 11. I like those numbers better. ;)


December 23, 2005, 10:55 PM
Anytime or place that it's legal in Texas to be out hunting with a rifle or shotgun, it's also legal to be hunting with a handgun.

No need to conceal in this instance, though you could if you so desired and had a CHL.

December 23, 2005, 11:06 PM
I usually don't carry anything other than whatever firearm I'm hunting with. I can see carrying a handgun in country where you might run onto a big bear that might be attracted to a fresh kill. Frequently your rifle may not be very handy once you are busy with the field dressing. The other reason to carry in the woods is because it's fun.

December 24, 2005, 03:58 AM
I think I’ve worked out the best compromise for myself between the security of having a sidearm and the inconvenience of carrying the bloody thing when you’re hunting. I picked up a S&W J-frame Ti in .357, with the three inch barrel. I put Crimson Trace grips on it for a solid purchase and low weight, in addition to the precision potential of the laser. It is sighted in for .357 158 gr. bullets, and it holds both .38’s and .357’s in the same pie-tin size groups out to about 18 yards. This seems good enough to me for personal protection or for finishing off a game animal.

I usually put a shotshell in first position, put 3 .357’s after that, and have one 38 +P in 5th place. That way I can grab and fire the shotshell round quickly for snakes and such, and if surprised by two or four legged predators I can just fire through the shotshell without slowing down much. I keep the .38 round last so that I can manually index it for finishing shots on big game or plinking small game. I find I flinch less if I know that the round coming up is a .38.

The two drawbacks are related to the gun’s primary strength. The first problem is that precise shooting is difficult because of the light weight. Just single action trigger pressure (around 3.5 lbs) makes the gun quiver all over that pie tin, and any true precision shooting is nearly impossible in double action. The second problem is that the thing offers up recoil levels that rate somewhere between “Unbearable” and “Unbelievable” when shooting .357 ammo, especially the heavier bullet weights. I tried some 180 gr. Federal hunting ammo, thinking it would be the best choice for a field load in boar or bear country, and it probably is. I’ll never find out, though, ‘cause after the first cylinder there was no way I was going to try it again. Anybody need 15 rounds of Federal Cast Core hunting ammo?

The whole package weighs about 18 oz, including the nylon holster. It conceals beautifully (where legal) while remaining out of the way and has no tendency to want to ride my pants down. It is probably the best "carry alot, shoot a little" field sidearm I've ever owned.

December 26, 2005, 12:37 PM
.22 revolver nearly always in a fanny pack. For finishing shots and perhaps an opportunistic squirrel shot.

If in an area where there are hogs, or in a public hunting area where whoknowswhat yahoos might be around, then either a 5-shot, 4", .45 colt revolver - Taurus, or less commonly, a Glock model 20 in 10mm. I also might carry one of the latter two when I am rifle hunting for deer or hogs from a stand, for the unlikely scenario that one walks directly under my stand, in such a way that it is awkward or impossible to train the rifle onto them. But in truth, I usally have only the .22. Don't need the extra weight & bulk of a big handgun.

In my state, if one has a CCW license (I do), then one can carry while hunting, under the same rules (concealed, no drinking, etc.)

Wild Bill Bucks
December 29, 2005, 04:32 PM
I hunt from a tree stand that straps to the tree, since I am right handed,
it is difficult for me to turn my body quiet enough to make a right hand shot if a deer comes from behind me, under my tree on the right.
I carry a Ruger Super Red Hawk 44 Mag. with a cross front holster that rests in my lap. This enables me to pull it and shoot a 240 grain bullet into the deer with a minimal amount of movement.
Don't do stalking thing any more (Was my favorite way for years) there's to many idiots out there taking SOUND SHOTS for me to enjoy walking around, even in Orange.
Have killed several deer with my pistol since I bought it.

Charles S
December 29, 2005, 05:07 PM
I always carry a sidearm while hunting. Partly for a finishing shot; partly for varmints and target rocks; partly for personal protection; mostly "because I can".



Para Bellum
December 29, 2005, 05:43 PM
always. 9x19mm. For Hunting maybe a 10mm Auto.

December 29, 2005, 06:30 PM
Going to pick up my NYC handgun application tomorrow - they really try to make it as difficult as possible - you MUST pick up the original application in person in a specific precinct in downtown Manhattan (no other precinct, nor mailing it to you, nor downloading from the web, nor using a photocopy), you MUST type out the form (no handwriting), you MUST pay over $400 in fees to process, and payment MUST be in form of a US Postal or Bank money order (no cash, check, or credit cards), you MUST submit proof of citizenship and proof of address, you MUST have various items notarized, you MUST submit the completed application and forms in person, and you MUST be interviewed from what I've heard. Like, wow, I'm in for a long ride.

Hopefully it will all go well, and I can finally own a handgun for hunting with - I think that would be an awesome challenge to use a handgun for hunting...

December 30, 2005, 07:37 PM
Ouch thats gotta hurt! That is all I can tell you Scrap besides "Sorry".