Getting within range and making a clean shot is not a simple task. It requires great stalking skills and experience. A single miss and the animals are gone. You must start stalking over which is a waste of time for hunters. A handgun presents you with challenges and demands more from you as a hunter. However, the rewards are amazing making the use of handgun exciting and fun.
A successful and safe hunt with a handgun starts long before the hunting season begins. Every hunter must be familiar with their handgun. Knowing your handgun inside out is crucial to a successful hunting. It is not enough to know the hunting paperwork and laws governing hunting if you don’t understand your handgun.
If your desire is to hunt with a handgun, then you need to do your homework and start preparation early enough. Guns have regulations around them and are not like bows and arrows that you can use with minimal restrictions. This article aims to give you ten tips that should get you started with your handgun.
1 – Choosing Your Handgun
The first tip in getting started with your handgun is choosing the right handgun. You must understand the game you plan to hunt and buy a handgun suitable for that game. There is no such thing as a one-gun for all the games. Handguns for big game hunting have been narrowed, but still a wide selection of single shots, five, semi-automatic and six shot revolvers exist.
Do you flinch when shooting a 20-gauge shotgun? Then don’t go with a large revolver or 44 magnums. Some big handguns are not ideal for beginners. Make sure you do research on the area of the hunt and the kind of conditions you will be subjecting your guns before buying.
2 – Hunting Big Game with Handguns
Hunting big games with handguns requires experience and great marksmanship. Apart from experience, you need a good knowledge of the animal you intend to kill. The big factor when big animals are choosing the right caliber for the intended game. Hitting your target with precision might not be enough when dealing with big games. There is a possible scenario of injuring the animal with some charging back with the intention of harming or killing you.
3 – Practice
Target practice is one of the best ways to improve your hunting skills using handguns. Apart from practicing to hit the target, ensure you aim your shots from different positions. It doesn’t matter how ridiculous the positions seems. When in the field, they are situations where you’re likely to encounter a situation like the one you practiced.
Hunting with a handgun presents challenging situations unlike when hitting a stationary target. Make sure you know how to hit a target with both hands. Being left-handed does not mean your target will appear from the left. Think of your handgun as an extension of either of your hands including the weak one. Ask yourself why you’re hunting in the first place? Your adrenaline will be high when hunting with your heart rate rising fast. You will, of course, be excited, and this is what makes hunting enjoyable. This is where your practice and subconscious mind takes over.
4 – A Smooth Trigger Pull
A smooth trigger pull is very crucial when hunting. There should be no jerking or twitching of the finger. It ought to be surprised when the gun goes off. However, you should be able to anticipate the gun’s recoil and not be scared. Breathing in a relaxed mode is one of the best practices in a smooth trigger pull. This technique is mostly used by sports people who hold their breath briefly to keep the handgun in a perfect still before shooting.
Try and breathe down to lower your heart rate and blood pressure. This allows you to be still while taking your shot.
5 – Ensure a Proper Stance
A proper stance allows for an excellent hand to eye coordination when shooting with your handgun. The same case applies to baseball players where a poor stance can make all the difference in hitting the ball or striking out. If your balance is off even at a minimal, then that would be the difference between hitting your target or missing out altogether.
A modified Weaver stance is the best position for most hunters. For right handed shooters, the weak or left foot should be in front of the dominant or right leg with the dominant toe pointing directly to the target. With your weak knee bending, lean forward and aim at your target.
6 – Safety
We cannot talk about handguns without talking about safety. There are hundreds of stories where improper handlings of guns have resulted in injuries and death. Handling handguns in the field when hunting is a totally not an easy thing as most people might think. There are too many distractions in the field that can make one complacent. A word of CAUTION; NEVER point your gun at anything else in the field apart from the intended target. Many hunters have been shot by their guns in spite of being 100% sure that it is unloaded.
The very simple act of pointing a gun at somebody in the field can cause death due to accidental discharge. You need to be extremely careful when removing your handgun from the best shoulder holster.
7 – Understand Your Handgun
This one might look like the simplest tip but a crucial one when hunting. Your handgun should be familiar to you as your cup daily cup of coffee. How long does it take to un-jam and reload your gun? The answer to this question comes down to how well you know your gun. Never head to the field with a new gun. Buying a gun and storing it until the hunting season is a stupid idea. You should understand your gun well and feel comfortable with it at all times.
8 – Scope or Not
Knowing whether to scope your gun or not is another brilliant idea that can make hunting pretty easier for you. The decision to scope or not depends on where you will be hunting. Leave your scope home if hunting in thick vegetation. If a majority of your shots are at close ranges, practice to draw and shoot quickly without the need for a scope.
9 – Laws Regarding Handguns
Regardless of what you know, make sure you read and understand the laws governing the transportation and use of guns in each state you go. Penalties for handguns violations are possible in most states.
10 – Work on the Trigger Control
To get a nice clean shot, you need to practice your trigger control as with your rifle. The short barrel of the handgun results in trigger control problems. Do a lot of dry firing ensuring you stay on target as they hammer drops.
Hunting with a handgun is a lot funnier and enjoyable when you understand your gun and know how to use it properly. Your trigger should be a smooth one and not affect by the gun’s recoil. Keep practicing with your handgun months before the hunting season to fully understand your gun and be able to react to every shot you make.
Brandon Cox loves everything hunting and regularly posts on his blog stay hunting where he shares his experiences in hunting giving you the latest hunting information. You can find more from Brandon on Twitter.
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