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How to Safely Hung Big Game with a Handgun

October 25, 2011 Leave a comment

By Anthony Sages

Long before the hunting season starts, safe hunters set a goal of achieving thorough knowledge of their weapon. This means much more than gaining an understanding of game laws, regulations, and which forms to fill out. It means knowing every aspect of the weapon. Anything less is irresponsible, and irresponsible hunting can prove disastrous. Switching from hunting with a rifle to hunting with a handgun presents many challenges.

For example, even choosing the correct handgun will depend on the species of game being hunted. No single weapon will provide the perfect solution for all animals. Big game hunting can be achieved with single-shot handguns, five- or six-shot revolvers, or semi-automatic handguns. Hunters need to do their homework not only on the type of game, but also on the type of shooter they are as well as how the expected weather conditions will affect the gun’s performance.

Selecting the proper caliber will also prevent unnecessarily wounding an animal, which could lead to a deadly attack. Prior to engaging in big game hunting, hunters must make sure their marksmanship is up to standard. Experienced hunters recommend practicing firing the weapon in numerous positions, regardless of how unlikely they may seem at the time. Hunters should learn to fire with both hands. In addition, be prepared for shorter shooting distances when dealing with a handgun as opposed to a rifle.

Other obvious safety issues include never pointing a gun at anything other than the target. Be aware of certain dangerous “time zones,” involving the handling of handguns. These include showing the weapon, removing the gun from its holster, and loading or unloading the gun. Extreme caution must be demonstrated at these times.

About the Author:

Anthony Sages’ hunting experience includes big game hunting in both Alaska and Africa.