Carrying a handgun while deer hunting?


November 12, 2003, 10:51 PM
A recent thread about carrying a handgun in addition to a rifle while hunting got me thinking.

Is it legal/illegal to carry a handgun while deer hunting in Texas? Is there a specific caliber/energy level that one must abide by?

I'm not going to hunt with a handgun, but I just like having one handy.
I've checked the hunting books, carry laws, etc, and can't really find what I'm looking for. I assume it is okay, but better safe than sorry.

BTW, this would be on private land (Texas of course).



If you enjoyed reading about "Carrying a handgun while deer hunting?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
November 12, 2003, 11:05 PM
I dont know about Tejas, but my uncle does while hunting deer. You never know when a bear might find you.

YMMV and YLMV.:)

November 12, 2003, 11:27 PM
Up here .... this season .... I intend to go out with no rifle at all ........ just my 9 1/2" Super Redhawk and red dot.

IF I get the presentation i want, at the range i want ... i will have me a whitetail .... otherwise, I will have enjoyed the sanctuary and peace of being out in the middle of nowhere!:) Just feel it's something I need to try, at least the once.

November 13, 2003, 09:18 AM
Check the hunting regs for your state.

Indiana allows a handgun to be carried when hunting, but....

......only during firearms season (not bow or muzzleloader)

......only of those calibers that are legal for hunting, and

......only if it is not carry concealed (no matter if you have a valid CCW permit).

November 13, 2003, 11:07 AM
Stinger, everything I have seen, heard, and read says that as long as you aren't bow hunting you can carry a firearm while hunting. I always carry while deer hunting, mainly because of the amount of wild hogs and javalinas in our area.

Game animals and game birds may be hunted with any legal firearm, EXCEPT:
white-tailed deer, mule deer, desert bighorn sheep, and pronghorn antelope may NOT be hunted with rimfire ammunition of any caliber.
shotguns are the only legal firearm that may be used to hunt Eastern turkey during the spring Eastern turkey season (see County Listing). Rifles and handguns may not be used to hunt Eastern turkey.
pellet guns and other air guns are NOT LEGAL.
fully automatic firearms are NOT LEGAL.
firearms equipped with silencers or sound-suppressing devices are NOT LEGAL.
a shotgun is the only legal firearm for hunting

It is unlawful to be in possession of a firearm while hunting with a broadhead HUNTING point during the Archery-Only season. NOTE: A firearm may be possessed in camp, in a motor vehicle, or while hunting lawful game other than whitetail or mule deer and turkey (e.g., exotics, feral hogs, squirrels).

November 13, 2003, 12:15 PM
I always carry a handgun when out in the field.

But then again, where I go hunting, I have to worry about more than just animals. Alot of 2 legged wanderers in the bush down here.;)

November 13, 2003, 12:40 PM
Just be thankful you don't live in Ohio. Gun season isn't until December 1st. Rifles are illegal and you cannot carry a handgun when using a shotgun. So, either use a shotgun or handgun separately. Pretty conservative, backwards state when it comes to hunting. And, NO CCW!

November 13, 2003, 11:25 PM
I carry one incase I have to finish a deer off. A .45 swc is a lot cleaner than a .308 or 45-70 at close range.

November 14, 2003, 01:57 PM
In Oklahoma you can CCW whatever you normally carry during any hunting. If you want to hunt with the handgun there are several specifications that pretty much means it has to be at least the dimensions of a .357 mag. (unless there are any auto chuckers with case length at least 1.25 inches).

Matt G
November 14, 2003, 08:10 PM
You can carry any kind of gun you want, while hunting in Texas.

The only restrictions on the type of gun you can hunt with in Texas are:

It must not be full auto.
It must not be rimfire for game animals.
It must not be suppressed.
It must not be laser-sighted.

If it's a migratory game bird, it mustn't be shot at with a rifled firearm. (That part's federal.)

I always carry a pistol when hunting, and have for years. I haven't been as successful at it as Stephen A. Camp has been (example: .38 Super Doe... (, using a variety of practical mid-caliber auto-loaders (mostly Browning High-Powers), but I was able to take a javelina at 50 yards (um, with a couple of follow-up shots :o ) with my duty Kimber .45, as fellow moderator Art Eatman can attest (in attached pic, you can just see my Stainless Classic worn offsided, butt foreward). On a previous occasion, I shot a couple of javelina with my Colt Officer's Model Match .38 Spl. I've put down a deer or two with my pistol, as a coup de grace, but have never managed to plan my hunt such that I got to catch one near enough to drop it with such. Experience is showing me, the best distance for pistoling a deer is just far enough back so as not to cause the hide to char from the muzzle flash. :)

November 14, 2003, 08:39 PM

November 19, 2003, 01:59 PM
This came up on a MI outdoors TV show a couple weeks back. It depends on where you are. Check your local hunting regs and the CCW regs. An 'A' that is well covered is a good thing. Mind you, why you would need a handgun while hunting is beyond me. Even with a bow.

Brian Williams
November 19, 2003, 02:23 PM
In PA you have to open carry while hunting even if you have a CCW, So I carry both a Rifle and Handgun.

November 19, 2003, 11:43 PM

November 20, 2003, 08:58 PM
About three years ago I harvested a nice 9 point buck with my 44 mag. Ruger Super Redhawk with a 9.5 in. barrel. It has a 2x6 Bushnell scope. This year I am wanting to take one with my 10.5 in. 44 mag. Ruger Super Blackhawk, which has iron sights.
We hunt about twenty miles southeast of Sonora TX.

Jim Hall

November 21, 2003, 07:20 PM
sidearms on private land during bow season are no problem in TX.
BTW, CCW supercedes any sidearm law on public land in TX( with exceptions of course ) check your local county listing in the outdoor annual.

Reagards from TX


Steve in PA
November 21, 2003, 07:49 PM
"In PA you have to open carry while hunting even if you have a CCW, So I carry both a Rifle and Handgun." You can carry concealed with a CCW or a Sportsman Permit while hunting. A SP does not allow you to carry concealed on your person, in your vehicle or anywhere else (unless your hunting or fishing) since it must be carried in conjunction with a hunting and/or fishing license.

Carrying a 4" S&W .357mag on your belt, underneath your hunting coat...a CCW or SP if fine. Get to your vehicle and you can keep it loaded while sitting in or driving to another location with a CCW. With a SP you must unload it before getting into your vehicle.

November 24, 2003, 12:53 AM
Used my Kimber on thursday to finish a deer I shot with my .308.

Johnny Guest
November 28, 2003, 06:22 PM
- - As statedby the other members above - -In TEXAS, you're fine with most any centerfire handgun. In fact, hunting is one of the exceptions to the legal restriction on carrying a handgun in this state. While actually engaged in the hunt, or on private land where you have permission to hunt, you need not have a CHL.

I know guys who carry almost every imaginable type handgun, either for hunting, self protection, coup de grace on wounded animals, whatever. A lot of years, early deer season is very warm, and some guys carry a .22 handgun to clear snakes out of their deer blinds. No, it is not legal to HUNT deer with a rimfire, but the little .22 deals with vermin a lot less noisily than a centerfire rifle or revolver. I really don't know the legality of finishing off an already wounded deer with the .22 rimfire. I'd think it would be okay, but . . . ??

Speaking of "backup" guns while hunting- - - at least one year, my backup was an 8mm Mauser rifle, in case I saw something with an absolutely irresistible set of antlers. Didn't need the rifle, though. Small buck with a .357, two doe with .45 ACP, that season.


November 28, 2003, 08:25 PM
Here in NYS I mostly carry my .44 MAG SuperRedhawk for firearms hunting. When I carry a long gun I usually carry my P95DC, concealed, IWB. I'm going to get a shoulder rig for carrying the P95 while hunting. The P95 is legal for deer but I wouldn't use it for anything other than a "finish off" tool.

It's really moot but... What bugs me about the Southern Tier NYS is that you can legally carry a scoped TC .270 handgun, but an open sighted single shot .30-30 rifle is illegal. NYS really needs to take a step back and reform all of its hunting (at least ;) ) firearms regulations. Any NY legislators in the audience - you seem to be ignoring my letters and emails?

November 29, 2003, 12:14 AM
The idea in the southern tier was since ballistics of muzzle loaders and handguns (357,44mag ) were similar to shotguns they added them to the list .The introduction of pistols with rifle cartridges really came later and obviously something that the bureaucrats can't deal with.

November 29, 2003, 08:53 AM
Mete -

I think the law used to allow handguns of at least .35 Cal with straight casings. Now that they allow handguns with rifle rounds, I'm wondering when they'll start allowing rifles with handgun rounds or just all rifles. They introduce that legislation every year. I would love to have a reason to buy one of those Marlin Cowboy guns in .44Mag. Most illegal rifles aren't that much more efficient than the legal handguns and inline ML's. They don't really have a technical argument for a continued ban on rifles.

November 29, 2003, 08:09 PM
Part of the reason I went to a T/C Omega is to gain advantages not there with a shotgun, (Prism, way to go with that Ithaca...still got mine, and love it to death) but I have hunted with a S&W 29 and a Ruger stupid blackhawk(what a shooter). My father and two uncles shoot single shot handguns in .35 rem and 7mm-08, also to negate the shortcomings of the shotgun. Now with technology taking shotguns to 150 plus yards, it does seem like the whole caliber restriction is bunk in NY. Pistol caliber rifles (leverguns, oh yeah!) would be great, as would single shot rifles in reasonable rounds. You can take whatever you want to the adirondacks bear hunting, so why not deer in upstate? :evil:

If you enjoyed reading about "Carrying a handgun while deer hunting?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!