Do you carry a sidearm when you hunt?


January 19, 2003, 11:06 PM
Do you have a hand gun handy when you are in the field with your favorite rifle??

What do you carry?

Ever use it to save yerself??

I went small game hunting today, whilst walking back into the woods with my little terrier on a leash (he is so dumb that if I ever let him off the leash it would be the last I ever saw him) another fellow comes up the trail with five medium pit bull terriers running (no leash) ahead of him.

The pit bulls see me and lunch and come on over to investigate. We were off the trail and down a hill about fifty feet.

I had a rifle on a sling (trying out a new carry sling). Their owner does not catch up until all five are walking around me, brushing up against me, sniffing my dog and scaring the hades out of me.

I pulled my 9mm revolver and prepared for the worst. First growl or bite and I was going to unload.

Fortunately, the owner began calling them back and one by one they went back down the trail. He had to do some serious yelling at the dogs, they were not what you call well trained.

I usually carry a Browning HP in a shoulder rig but lately I have been carrying a j frame in 9mm in a belt holster. Sure would have had to make every shot count today:D

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January 19, 2003, 11:23 PM
I have never carried a side-arm while hunting. Partly because I have never really felt the need for one, but mostly because you are not allowed to carry a modern sidearm during Muzzle Loader season here in Washington.

I work with several people that carry side arms during modern season, and, let's just say I don't hunt with them. They have said their sidearms are for self-defence, but they have also admitted that when things are slow, it's fun to do some target practice. :(

One of them even admitted to me that he had used his Beretta .380(not sure I would consider that a self-defence gun in the woods) to take a shot at some Bob Cats he saw sitting in a tree! :fire:

Like I said, I don't hunt with them, and have so far politely turned down all offers to do so.

January 19, 2003, 11:36 PM

CCW en-route, while hunting, return trip. Things can happen while long guns locked up in vehicle. I may carry a 'hunt specific' handgun for handgun hunting--but I keep CCW on person. Long gun/shotguns, still keep a CCW on person. Ya never know out there.

January 19, 2003, 11:46 PM
I'm with "re1973" on this. Full time carry, no matter what I'm doing.


January 19, 2003, 11:59 PM
Yes. While hunting I carry a rifle or shotgun and a Smith M649. The same gun goes along when I'm trout fishing.

January 20, 2003, 02:12 AM
I usually carry a 9mm of some kind, never had to use it. Don't really get to use the rifle much while hunting either.

January 20, 2003, 03:10 AM
Here in the interior of Alaska I never go anywhere without a sidearm. Even when carrying a hunting rifle. It's a bit disconcerting to have a bear or Cow moose with a calf walk up on you, and you've left the rifle leaning against a tree. :o
I usually carry a S&W mod 29 44 mag. w/ 6" barrel, handloaded with Speer's 300gr bullets.

Dave McCracken
January 20, 2003, 06:17 AM

First, I'm often armed when not hunting, this just carries over.

Second, some of the places I hunt have a feral dog problem. A friend was bitten on the leg 2 years ago by one.He had dropped a doe with his bow and the dog arrived at the dead doe the same time he did.

Third, at least half my hunting is all alone. I like to have the ability to signal if needed. I do keep a cell phone on me, but life's taught me to have a Plan B.

Art Eatman
January 20, 2003, 08:29 AM
I hunt in lonesome country, so I've never seen the need for the extra weight. Just not the same potential for problems as in Alaska or in "people country".

If I'm quail-hunting during deer season, I'll carry my Redhawk in case I'm attacked by an irate buck. :)

I've run across packs of feral dogs a couple of times, but the survivors always ran from the sound of my rifle.


Oleg Volk
January 20, 2003, 12:22 PM
Don't hunt but always carry a backup when out hiking. The rifle might break, so having a pistol is easier than carrying another rifle.

January 20, 2003, 01:55 PM
I carry my P95 with me. Of course, I carry my P95 everywhere.

January 20, 2003, 06:16 PM
While pheasant hunting here in Iowa and across the river in Nebraska, I carry a stainless Ruger .22/45 in an exposed nylon holster on a wide nylon belt. My Columbia pheasant jacket is short enough to allow legal, exposed carry when in the field.

The .22 with hollowpoints works great on close-in rabbits that the 12-gauge would make a mess of. I also carry it in case my field bred English Springer Spaniel gets into a fight with a raccoon or other varmint.

I have used it to give a Rottweiler a few warning shots across the bow. It is also deadly on feral cats out in corn fields.

I've gotten pretty good at holding the Wingmaster in the left hand just behind the slide at its balance point and wielding the pistol right hand.

There are no bears or other dangerous critters here that could not be taken care of with a shotgun blast of copper-plated No. 5s.

January 20, 2003, 06:21 PM
I carry my P95 with me. Of course, I carry my P95 everywhere. Couldn't have put it better ojibweindian !!

I do also at times put on the Super Blackhawk, if I think I might find something interesting ... but mainly it's backup...... come ''finisher'' if such were needed.

January 20, 2003, 08:06 PM
Just like putting my clothes on everyday. I always have my sidearm nearby. There are too many critters where I live. Not had to use it yet to fight off any crazed animals. A friend of mine just recently got ambushed by a crazed 5 point buck in rut. This sounded funny at first but I guess he could have been badly injured. He had walked away from camp and had no weapons at all. He saw a buck walking towards him stomping the ground as it approached. He ran and got on top of a nearby picnic table and yelled for help. The buck was trying to climb up on top of the picnic table.All my friend could do is yell and swat at the deer with his cap. Luckly a fellow hunter heard him and came to his rescue. The buck also chased the other hunter. After a few shots of buckshot the ordeal was over. This is a true story that happened this deer season. My friend says he will not go unarmed anymore while out in the wild.

January 20, 2003, 09:10 PM
Sure, I always carry a sidearm while hunting. Out here in the wild wild West big game hunting (at least for me) means camping for a week or so, maybe 50 or more miles off the beaten track. Again, just for me, I usually hunt alone. I put on a handgun when I leave home and take it off when I return home. When I finish hunting in the evening, I put my rifle in the truck unloaded, but I always have my handgun at my side. It provides a certain degree of comfort around the camp and in the tent. There are some real dangers, but it is mostly psychological. Living 99% of your life with four walls and locked doors makes sleeping out under the stars a little disquiteing.
Three years ago, I shot a nice 5x5 mulie with my '06. It dropped instantly from the shot. I took off my backpack and laid my rifle on it. Removed my coat. Rolled up my sleeves, got out my knife etc. I then walked up to gut the deer. When I got about 15 yards away, the "dead" deer jumped up and took off. I drew my Ruger P89 and shot it three times, this time dropping it for good.
My normal field gun is a Ruger GP100 stainless 4" with a lined, full flap holster, although I may take my 3" S&W Model 629 the next time I draw a tag.

January 20, 2003, 10:21 PM
Carried an M29 when first out here CO-way (& a lot more "extra' weight). Wised up & started shedding stuff - no handgun for years. Always figured a .30 cal something'd do the trick.

Ran across one of those S&W 317s & will always have that thing on my belt - at the least - just too handy not to.

'Course, when not hunting, there's always something hanging off the belt.

I feel, & b'lieve, that I'm much safer in the woods than in anything urban .... that something hanging off the belt is appropriately sized.

January 20, 2003, 10:40 PM

.22 LR when I am heavily armed.

.44 Mag when I have a .22.

January 20, 2003, 11:20 PM
Full time carry no matter what. HK USP .45 Compact, and either a Smith 340 or a Beretta 21A.

January 21, 2003, 01:15 AM
Lately, I have been carrying my Kel-Tec P11 backup gun in my front pocket.

January 21, 2003, 10:47 AM
"Couldn't have put it better ojibweindian !!"

Thanks P95Carry! Being a former Boy Scout, I do like to be prepared.

Bottom Gun
January 21, 2003, 11:02 AM
1911 or 629 . . . . . . .always.

January 21, 2003, 11:26 AM
Hunting is the only time I CAN carry in Minnesota.

.22 for small game if I have a rifle or bow.

.44 mag and no rifle if I'm still hunting/driving in deep brush and feeling lucky for deer. Haven't yet been lucky with the .44 though.

I used to just carry a shotgun when scouting, building stands, etc., but all the wolf tracks I saw this Fall make me think a .357 would be a good hiking companion.

Mr Bill
January 21, 2003, 03:00 PM
I deer hunt where there's mountain lions and I typically hunt alone. I carry a S&W 687 Mountain Gun (.357 Mag) while hunting just in case I have to shoot one off from me. Noticed this past year that the exposed smooth surfaces are terribly reflective in the sun. I'll probably have it glass beaded this year to matte the surfaces.
I never target practice or shoot at anything with it while hunting, one might as well bring a buggle and blow it if they do.

January 21, 2003, 03:37 PM
in '01 while hunting on some land my family owns in western okla. three guys i chased off for trespassing, came back that night drunk & decided to drag me out of my tent to get even. they opened my tent flap grabbed me by my feet & started pulling me out, but the springfield 10mm pointed between the first guys eyes convinced them it was a bad idea. 187

January 21, 2003, 06:48 PM
I always bring my .45 to camp with me, but just for CCW when not in the woods. No need to carry the extra weight while actually hunting, and my .30-06 is a lot more effective stopper.

January 21, 2003, 10:33 PM
Yup, except during archery season, when it's illegal to have any firearm in your possession. Then, it's likely locked out of sight in the truck. What I carry varies by season and temperature. Most often a Glock 23, but sometimes a Ruger GP100.

January 21, 2003, 10:40 PM
I carry a Dan Wesson 7460 Revolver loaded with either Winchester 260gr. HSP .45 WinMag, or Georgia Arms 300gr. FMJ .460 Rowland. Sometimes I even mix the 2 rounds in the same moon clip.

Never had to use it for defense though.

January 22, 2003, 12:59 AM
I have a real sweet hunting area way up in the mountains that is game-rich. When shotgunning for mountain quail, I carry a Taurus 941 22 mag 5 inch revolver which I use for tree squirrel, rabbits and other small game. I hunt deer and wild boar with a .454 Casull and carry an '06 as backup or for the long shots. When around bear or boars, I always carry the .454.

January 22, 2003, 04:02 PM
I always carry, even if I'm just headed to the mailbox in the front yard.

When hunting deer, I mostly carry my SP101 (.357 mag) in my front right pocket. If hunting upland game I wear a gunbelt with a full size handgun (.357 mag GP100, Springfield Armory 1911A1 milspec .45ACP, Ruger P90 .45ACP, Redhawk .44 mag) w/ a Cold Steel Master Hunter. We have a rather large and unfriendly population of feral hogs, not to mention feral dogs and coyotes. I'd hate to have to deal with those fellas with a 20 gauge and # 8 shot.

Of course, I CCW on the way to hunt.


January 22, 2003, 05:52 PM
If I'm in the woods I generally have a sidearm. If I'm big game hunting that sidearm needs to be big-game legal, otherwise it's just a signalling device, rather than a back-up gun.

Sure a .30-06 packs more whallop than a .44 mag, however I had a day where I was packing out a quartered elk, and ran smack dab into a cow elk at 10 feet away. All I had on me was a 22 pistol. Not legal, nor ethical to try and drop an elk with a 22, so next season I bought a .44.

The next thing I knew everyone in camp had a .44. Well, just call me a trendsetter.

Seriously, even when grouse and turkey hunting I usually have a pistol of some sort, and thanks to running into a bear at close quarters, armed only with a shotgun and a .22 pistol, it's a .357 or bigger.

Colorado allows open carry for self protection (even if you aren't hunting) as long as the firearm is not concealed. Hence, I have a fishing/backpacking gun too.

January 22, 2003, 08:39 PM
If you'd seen some of the hogs and coyotes I've seen in these swamps and hillsides you'd carry too! It is too much trouble to always have a tree picked out to climb!:what:

I'd look pretty funny hanging out ten feet off the ground on a small pine tree covered with sap and with charley horses in the legs from the effort!:uhoh:

38 or 44 depends in large part on whether I'm in a bear area.

(Oleg, not telling you what you should or shouldn't do regarding hunting, but deer meat doesn't have growth hormones, steroids nor antibiotics in it.)

January 24, 2003, 12:10 PM
I carry a Glock 30, Super Blackhawk or occasionally a Taurus M94 .22 revolver. The Glock is my campout/night predator hunting pistol due to the Meprolights. My Super accompanies me on deer hunts for deep brush use. The Taurus goes canoeing sometimes in lieu of the Glock. It's good water moccasin medicine. I do have to keep it away from the wife when she sees water rats or muskrats. She hates 'em!
Carrying a .22 pistol for unaware squirrels makes a fun and lightweight alternative to the 10/22.

January 24, 2003, 06:41 PM
Absolutely. Boar hunting defiantly. Where I live its really thick underbrush. I’ve stepped on them one time. Also you never know what kinda of deliverance boys are out there in the mountains 60-150 miles away from any town.

January 25, 2003, 05:08 AM
I always carry a Redhawk or Super Redhawk regardless. They don't add that much weight when carried correctly. I tromp all over nasty terrain going to and from some areas, been known to travel 8-9 miles in a day when in the scouting type hunting mode. I prefer to shoot with my handguns but, usually take a rifle too just in case.

Steve Smith
January 27, 2003, 05:05 PM
I'm with Labgrade on this one. I used to pack a pistol when hunting, but then I did a whole lotta backpacking here in CO and figured out that the four-legged types were of almost no threat at all, but I always felt a little uneasy in a campsite near civilization. So I switched. I don't carry when hunting, but I DO when hiking.

Can't wait to get my little G29 working again. Good trail gun.

January 27, 2003, 06:18 PM
I carry my 686 when I'm Bow hunting. I've never carried a side arm during firearms season.

January 27, 2003, 10:04 PM
Just to be on the safe side - anything from a .45ACP to a .22LR
Don't need a backup for anything I'm likely to bump into on 4 legs, but there are some methlabs and pot patches back there with some seriorusly disturbed people with bad attitudes hanging about. :uhoh:
Lions? Too well fed on deer and backyard poodles - they are gone if they see/hear/smell you.
Bears? Too busy sponging off tourists over at Yosimite.
Cranksters? :evil: Definately carry CCW.:fire:

January 28, 2003, 11:45 AM
No I don't carry an additional sidearm while hunting. I do carry sheath knife and small pocket knife. I don't want to be burdened with the extra weight and if I'm stalking, it's just in the way. My focus is on my rifle or shotgun that I'm carrying.
When I'm at the camphouse I always have a second firearm available, usually a pistol, which is sometimes carried, but never as a back-up to the primary weapon while actually hunting.

January 28, 2003, 10:56 PM
I carry a 629S&W mountain Pistol in .44mag or a G-20 in 10MM. I did use the the .44 on a mad little hog one time after drying out the rifle but I could hardley say it saved my butt. kinda bad on the hog though. I've also used the .44 many times for back up shots when hound hunting bears and cats.
I just feel kinda naked without a side arm I guess. I've also used pistols on several occasions to let visiting critters know to leave the camping area please.

January 29, 2003, 01:43 AM
I always carry a sidearm when hunting or fishing for defense against two-legged predators. It would be irresponsible not to considering the type of people I've encountered while in the woods or at the lake.

January 29, 2003, 01:52 AM
I always carry when hunting. Ruger Vaquero .44 mag or sometimes my 629 Mountain Gun. If I'm blackpowder hunting, I take my Ruger Old Army along.

The rest of the time, I rely on my Kimber Pro Crry II.

Johnny Guest
January 29, 2003, 04:37 PM
And all the rest of the time, as well.

During sporting activity, what and how I carry varies with the locale and activity. Bird hunting, I usually have a 2" .22/32 Kit Gun in a pocket. Handles the occasional snake and crippled bird, without chopping it up with a close range charge of #8s.

Afield with a .22 rimfire rifle, I usually have a .357 or .45 Colt sidearm. Most of my deer hunting is done just sitting and watching a trail at a crossing. Might carry a large sidearm for a close range deer, or a small one just to have. One thing I learned about going up and down long, steep, slopes in Colorado-- A lightweight Commander is a LOT easier to carry than a big, heavy revolver!


February 9, 2003, 07:52 PM
I hunt a lot in swamps, and along the creeks that feed or drain them. I hunt often in thick palmetto, between planted pines. I still hunt off the roads, following deer trails.

There are many time, when hunting terrain like this, that a long gun is just to cumbersome. The Smith 25-5, with .45 Colt hand loads, the .44 Mag Smith 629, or one of the large caliber Rugers is a comfort then.

I tailor my long gun, and hand gun to the game I am going to be hunting, and the terrain I will hunt in. For me, 'one size does not fit all'.

February 9, 2003, 08:21 PM
When hunting with a rifle, I carry a revolver in the preference order of a .41 mag., a .45 long colt, or a .44 mag as a last option.

February 9, 2003, 11:58 PM
Always. I hunt a lot of the time with only a handgun. Which one? Depends on the mood I am in. .454 SRH, Ruger 4" GP-100, G20.

February 10, 2003, 09:52 AM
I carry everyday. Like mentioned before, it just carrys over from daily wear. It has come in handy tho... cause you might not have your rifle with you when you need it!

It has happened to me, rifle on one end of the truck and you on the other...but handgun on your waist. You really don't even know it's there half the time.

February 16, 2003, 11:10 AM
we should all be armed always. besides isn"t our country at war?

February 17, 2003, 09:26 PM
I carry a sidearm when deer and elk hunting for taking a wounded animal out of its misery at close range. I never liked firing a rifle at a close target and a handgun round to the back of the head is safer and more effective than using a knife.

-- Dizos

February 23, 2003, 01:32 AM
I typically carry my Government .45 but I don't carry it for any other reason than predators of the two-legged variety. I'll admit that last year I broke tradition and took my GP100.

I always hunt with my M1 Garand so I figure I've got the game animals in my area covered and it also gives me comfort in the face of a possible bear encounter. The pistol is just there for problems that may occur in camp at night when my M1 may be out of my reach.

February 24, 2003, 06:19 AM
Taurus Tracker .357 is always on my side.

During bow season its illegal to carry firearms so I dont. ;)

February 25, 2003, 05:01 PM

depending on situation/location...anything from a .22 single-six, to 45 colt Vaquero, to a .44 Redhawk

Mr. Chitlin
February 25, 2003, 06:43 PM
If I am small game hunting, I carry a Ruger MKII 22 lr. Any other time, it is a Glock 27. I wear coveralls that have a small sippered outside pocket over the left breast. It fits perfect in that pocket. That little G27 has rode many miles in there. It has put a couple of down but not out whitetails out of service, too. Hate to shoot 'em with the big gun at a couple of feet.

February 25, 2003, 07:06 PM
Always. The last 2 years it has been a Sig 228.

February 25, 2003, 09:58 PM
;) Always have a handgun with me when hunting. It's my main weapon as I've all but dispensed with rifle hunting. The appendage in question is a Ruger OM Blackhawk in .41Magnum. It's carried in a ELP cross-draw rig. RKBA!

March 9, 2003, 08:15 PM
My P95 or SRH is always with me on the hunt or just a hike. You never know when it will come in handy.

For whitetails - Many times the only thing that I carry is the SRH. When I hunt with my shotgun I always take the P95 for a "finish off" gun because a 9MM round is cheaper than a $1.25 12 ga. sabot.

March 16, 2003, 04:28 PM
Terribly embarrasing, but the week after I posted that post I took the Glock 19 out in my hunting pouch. Its a lot more compact that the 44 and has more shots than the 38. This feels like an act of betrayal to all the men who spent so many decades developing the revolver to such a fine work of art, but, durn, the Glock is so easy to tote. :o

March 16, 2003, 06:26 PM
I am one of the lucky few in Minnesota to have a carry permit, and don't leave home with out a couple ( two is one, one is none ). I am looking at a Smith&Wesson 340pd as an all the time, light weight, almost corrosion proof gun. There have been a few problems with coyotes, and even a couger sited where I turkey hunt. the .357 should be enough for them, otherwise I can fall back on my USP fullsize and 200 grain gold dots... ;)

March 19, 2003, 12:35 AM

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