hiking with a loaded rifle?


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mainecoon
December 13, 2013, 03:50 PM
Maybe this is a dumb question, but when hunting, is it common to load the rifle with a round in the chamber and then just use the safety to prevent accidental discharge while walking with the rifle slung over your shoulder? Sounds kind of sketchy.

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easy
December 13, 2013, 03:56 PM
Chambered with safety on, or empty chamber, either way the only true safety is between your ears.

It's a personal preference. For a 'hike' I would have an empty chamber. Hunting, loaded chamber with mechanical safety engaged.

WayBeau
December 13, 2013, 04:03 PM
I hunt my way to my stands since I've had too many deer catch me unprepared without a round in the chamber. When I'm walking in, I'm moving very slowly with the rifle's safety on. If I was hiking, in the true sense of the word, I would have the rifle loaded (rounds in the magazine) without a round in the chamber.

rcmodel
December 13, 2013, 04:28 PM
+1
Hiking / hunting at the same time when a shot might present itself??
Loaded, safety on.

Hiking & not actually hunting?
Loaded mag, Empty chamber, with safety on.

rc

armoredman
December 13, 2013, 04:34 PM
Either one, loaded chamber, safety on.

gspn
December 13, 2013, 04:36 PM
I hunt my way to my stands since I've had too many deer catch me unprepared without a round in the chamber. When I'm walking in, I'm moving very slowly with the rifle's safety on. If I was hiking, in the true sense of the word, I would have the rifle loaded (rounds in the magazine) without a round in the chamber.

+1. That is exactly how I do it, and exactly why I do it.

jmr40
December 13, 2013, 04:43 PM
Regional preferences. You will find a lot of Western hunters that do not load the chamber until they see game. In most of the Eastern states the custom is to load the chamber as soon as you step off the road. Lots of exceptions, but this is the way I see it. I've seen some hotly debated threads among folks who feel strongly both ways.

As a hunter safety instructor we have always taught that if the terrain is likely to result in a fall, when crossing a fence, ditch, or climbing into a stand the chamber should be unloaded. That is how I do it. Normally the chamber is loaded, but it is easy and fast enough to open the bolt, remove the round from the chamber, push it into the magazine and close the bolt on an empty chamber until the obstacle is crossed. Once on fairly good terrain the round can be rechambered.

interlock
December 13, 2013, 05:41 PM
I still hunt (in your language) mostly. I carry my rifle slung upside down over my right shoulder loaded and round chambered safety on.

curtste
December 13, 2013, 07:14 PM
Round in the chamber, safety on, from the minute I leave the truck until I unload at the truck at the end of the day, regardless of the weapon of choice. I simply follow the standard rules of firearm safety. An unloaded firearm is of no use to me in the field.

bob4
December 13, 2013, 08:00 PM
Chambered with safety on from daylight on. Exception, if anyone is with me and single file the person behind DOES NOT chamber a round. If they insist I move to the back and tell them "pray I don't trip". :evil:

josiewales
December 13, 2013, 09:13 PM
Hiking / hunting at the same time when a shot might present itself??
Loaded, safety on.

Hiking & not actually hunting?
Loaded mag, Empty chamber, with safety on.



This. If your are hunting you HAVE to have the ability to fire a quick shot, and to aim silently. Working the action on a gun is a sure way to go home empty handed.

Lennyjoe
December 13, 2013, 11:03 PM
Loaded with safety on. I also carry the rifle in front of me, not slung over the back. I've been surprised by game too many times in the past when I was lax, walking in the woods with my mind elsewhere. The hunt starts from the time I leave the truck until I climb back in.

oneounceload
December 13, 2013, 11:10 PM
And the answer is............................................it depends.

Seriously, there are times, depending on terrain, that the chamber is empty for safety. I NEVER use a gun's safety, either the gun is ready to fire or I have the action open or empty - no matter if shotgun or rifle. Mechanical safeties re dangerous to trust, so either you are ready and prepared to shoot or the gun's chamber is empty

plmitch
December 14, 2013, 12:24 AM
Loaded safety on....

sixgunner455
December 14, 2013, 12:48 AM
If I'm carrying a gun, it's loaded. I unload long guns when I'm getting into a vehicle. If I'm going from one hunting area to another, the magazine will still have rounds in it, but the chamber will be empty.

Nickb45
December 14, 2013, 02:35 AM
Round in the chamber, safety on, from the minute I leave the truck until I unload at the truck at the end of the day, regardless of the weapon of choice. I simply follow the standard rules of firearm safety. An unloaded firearm is of no use to me in the field.


This. The only time the rifles are unloaded is when in the truck. Usually slung over my shoulder when walking/hiking.

skiking
December 14, 2013, 03:23 AM
I always have one in the chamber and safety on. I hope that I will have the chance to plan a stalk or get ready for a shot, but many times something pops out of the trees at close range and you need to shoot quick. For example, this fall I was glassing across a draw watching some deer about 600 yards away and I heard some noise below me, by the time I looked down a bull elk was coming out of the trees 50 yards from me, I shouldered the rifle flipped the safety off and pulled the trigger. If I didn't have a round un the chamber he may have spooked while I was working the bolt. Who knows but I have meat in the freezer.

If I am crossing a fence or navigating terrain where there is a significant possibility of falling(climbing up or down a cliff) and losing control of the direction the gun is pointing, I unload the thing. I also don't carry my rifle slung over my shoulder, if a fall occurs you have no control over the muzzle.

I don't think it makes much difference, if you are following the safety rules. If you tend to point your rifle at people and walk around with your finger on the trigger by all means don't put one in the chamber and please get your head in the game.

Rayzor
December 14, 2013, 04:24 AM
Chambered, Safety on and my head about me at all times.

JJHACK
December 14, 2013, 10:05 AM
Be aware that only Mauser designs, Winchester, and Ruger, have sear block three position safeties. All others are trigger block.

This means a jarring fall can discharge all but three mentioned. This is just stated as a point if interest for those that care.

There is a huge difference between preventing the trigger from being pulled, and preventing the firing pin from moving.

The Bushmaster
December 14, 2013, 10:45 AM
If I'm hiking or hunting. To or from my hunting site or anytime I'm in the forest, mountains or afield. Chamber loaded and safety on.

kbbailey
December 14, 2013, 10:48 AM
Round in the chamber, safety on, from the minute I leave the truck until I unload at the truck at the end of the day, regardless of the weapon of choice. I simply follow the standard rules of firearm safety. An unloaded firearm is of no use to me in the field.
+1
When I filled my fall turkey permit 2 yrs ago, my 12 ga flung the empty into my jeep. I had just returned to it after hunting and was ready to unload when I saw the turkeys feeding 40 yds in front of the jeep. The jeep was sitting at the edge of our remote property....not by a road btw.

AKElroy
December 14, 2013, 05:05 PM
Originally Posted by curtste
Round in the chamber, safety on, from the minute I leave the truck until I unload at the truck at the end of the day, regardless of the weapon of choice. I simply follow the standard rules of firearm safety. An unloaded firearm is of no use to me in the field.


I used to follow this, but on a big-horn sheep hunt 18 years ago, I had a scare that changed my mind. I was carrying a model 70 7mm mag, left hand. Since I am right handed but left eye dominant, I carry my lefty bolt guns on my right shoulder. After 5 miles or so of brisk hiking & climbing, we finally saw some sheep on a hill side across a canyon. We glassed them for awhile, and they were easily 1000+ yards away. Obviously no shot, but I wanted to rehearse a shooting stance anyway. As I got into position, I grabbed the safety to ensure it was still on, and it was off. Must have hung-up on my belt.

The thought of walking around the entire day with a loaded chamber and the safety off just made me sick.

It does not take much time to rack a bolt or lever. When I get into any blind, chamber is empty. When I sit, it gets quietly loaded. Before I leave, that round gets shucked, stuffed back on top, and the bolt slid forward on an empty chamber. I fill my tag every year just fine, and have yet to have a deer bolt when I work the bolt.

jmr40
December 14, 2013, 07:44 PM
I think that is a perfect example of the "it depends" train of thought. In sheep country you are walking in some of the most rugged country imaginable and the risk of a fall is pretty good. You aren't going to get a snap shot anyway. Many Western guides won't allow you to carry with a chambered round.

In other places a quick snap shot is far more likely and the footing much more predictable.

MCgunner
December 14, 2013, 07:53 PM
it's called "still hunting". Always wondered why it was called that since you ain't still, you're moving slowly through the woods, but you can't still hunt with an unloaded rifle. I shoot lefty, carry my rifle upside down over my right shouilder, can swing it up into position instantly this way. Meanwhile, I'm carrying muzzle down.

MCgunner
December 14, 2013, 07:58 PM
BTW, I also bird hunt with a loaded shotgun, safety on (or hammer down). Kill more birds that way. Quail hunters can load up when the dogs are let out. Duck hunters load up before shooting time. Dove hunters just load up. :D

AKElroy
December 14, 2013, 10:38 PM
I think that is a perfect example of the "it depends" train of thought. In sheep country you are walking in some of the most rugged country imaginable and the risk of a fall is pretty good. You aren't going to get a snap shot anyway. Many Western guides won't allow you to carry with a chambered round.

In other places a quick snap shot is far more likely and the footing much more predictable.


I agree with you on the unlikelyhood of a snap shot on sheep. This was south central New Mexico. Country does not get much more open than that.

I have to disagree on snap shots requiring a loaded chamber, however. My lease is in the heart of the texas hill country. It is covered in cactus, scrub mesquites, and pretty much the prickliest, thorniest place on the planet. The longest shot possible on my place is a hair over 200 yards, and with the exception of the biggest boars, virtually no animals over 200lbs.

Since getting on this place 6 years ago, all I had ever hunted with was bolt guns from box blinds. Here, easily half the game we take are driven up or walked up. Nearly half the shots are on moving if not running game. Snap shots are our most typical shots, especially on pigs, and I take a lot of them. Since I refuse to walk around or drive with a loaded chamber, I have acquired 4 lever-guns. I can load a chamber, no safety to worry about, all while bringing it to my shoulder. It literally takes no additional movement or time. It is also safe.

Part of the consideration is due to other people. Even if I were ok with a loaded chamber in my truck or walking the property, there are other people on this property that I am most definitely NOT ok being around if they are locked and loaded. Especially in my truck. Muzzles are down , empty chamber in the truck. Even though folks know the rules, I still have the occasional kid belonging to one of the other hunters wanting a ride. He gets pissed every time I make him clear his AR before he is allowed in. As many times as that kid has muzzle brushed me or my kid, the rules won't be changing.

bandur60
December 15, 2013, 07:05 PM
AKElroy--

My similar scare involved a Ruger 77 tang safety and a Boonie Packer safari sling when those slings first came out (basically you can carry the rifle like a guitar player horizontally about waist high.) There were three or four of us, snow knee-deep, cold, each making our own way, and like you I checked my safety --- OFF! I had no idea for how long or where I may have swung it after bumping(?) the safety off. The 338 mag could have done some serious damage "accidentally" (carelessly). I relate that to our Hunter Ed kids every year and it still gives me shivers.

The sling was a new thing and a novelty. I don't use it any more and if I'm hunting with anyone else my chamber is empty. If I'm alone I will carry loaded safety on but I check it really often. To each his own, but that's the way I find peace of mind.

Nite Ryder
December 15, 2013, 08:18 PM
When I'm in my vehicle en-route to the area where I hunt, the magazine in my rifle is usually empty, altho where I live, you can travel in a vehicle with a round loaded in the chamber of your rifle and the magazine full. When I stop to get out and hike, I load my rifle, put a round into the chamber and put the safety on. I consider hunting with an empty gun foolish. If you are in your hunting area and you are walking, you are also hunting. If you startle an animal that is bedded down near the trail you are on and it jumps up in front of you, you will feel pretty stupid if all you can do is watch it run from the area. Yeah, you could point your finger at it and yell bang, that would be about as smart as walking to a favorite spot with no round in the chamber of your rifle. My thinking is if I'm not going to put a round in the chamber of my rifle, I may as well leave it home and not bother to pack it. If I'm walking in an area where the footing is hazardous and a fall is likely to happen, I take the round out of the chamber until the hazard is pasted. Same situation fording a stream or climbing over a fence. All situations are different, if I'm in a group of two or three guys walking, my chamber is empty and the action is open for all to see, and I demand the same from the rest of the group.

AKElroy
December 15, 2013, 09:10 PM
This afternoon, my son and I are taking our last drive through the property before heading home. The back fence-line is roughly two miles from camp, and it is rough, steep and rocky. I am cradling a vintage marlin 336, leupold 2x7x33 scope, while driving a Suzuki samurai. As soon as we turn on to that rarely driven trail, (I have the only 4x4 small enough to manage it), we drive up a sounder of pigs. 6-10, with at least four sows that would push 180lbs.

I jump out, Sammy still rolling, chamber a round, miss the first running pig and nail the next in line. That is a typical, frequent snap shot on our property, and NEVER that I can recall have I taken such a shot starting from a loaded chamber.

I get that not everyone has pigs to shoot. They are not the fastest runners, and they rarely change direction. They generally just lumber single file, even when they are being shot at. In 35 years hunting, I have only made one running shot on a walked-up deer, and that was with a borrowed win 94 .30-30. Altogether, I've maybe shot 3 or 4 running deer in total, usually follow-ups. Again only those taken while in the blind started with a loaded chamber.

When I'm in a blind, like everyone else I chamber a round and flick on the safety as soon as I settle in. While walking in and out, chamber is empty. That said, I do almost always have a S&W 686 on my hip if something pops up needing immediate attention.

AKElroy
December 15, 2013, 09:19 PM
If you are in your hunting area and you are walking, you are also hunting. If you startle an animal that is bedded down near the trail you are on and it jumps up in front of you, you will feel pretty stupid if all you can do is watch it run from the area. Yeah, you could point your finger at it and yell bang, that would be about as smart as walking to a favorite spot with no round in the chamber of your rifle.

I know there are regional differences in how we all hunt that helps to explain some of our differing perspectives. That said, based on my own experiences, finding a spot where deer are know to frequent, choosing the animal you want, and placing your shot where you want it on the animal are all part of responsible hunting.

Flushing a deer that requires an instant snap shot seems like a good way to maim, gut shoot, blow out a hip (hitting that ball joint from the rear can literally destroy a deer; one of my only running shots taught me that lesson) just any number bad things can happen. In addition, if adrenalin and speed are governing a shot, how careful can one be about knowing the target and what is beyond it?

twofifty
December 15, 2013, 10:13 PM
Quoted from above:

"In addition, if adrenalin and speed are governing a shot, how careful can one be about knowing the target and what is beyond it? "

That's a definite advantage of not being fully loaded - the extra bit of time to see the overall picture.

HankR
December 16, 2013, 11:26 AM
JJHACK:Be aware that only Mauser designs, Winchester, and Ruger, have sear block three position safeties.

Are the Savage 110s in this category? I've got a three position safety, not sure if it blocks the fp or the trigger.

AKElroy: Since I am right handed but left eye dominant, I carry my lefty bolt guns on my right shoulder.

Me too. The safety doesn't budge, but I find the bolt is often partially opened (enough that the gun won't fire--don't ask my how I know :( ) due to the bolt snagging on my clothing or pack straps. This is annoying, but I switched shooting eyes late in life and it doesn't feel right to carry with the sling on my left shoulder. Advice?

MCgunner: I shoot lefty, carry my rifle upside down over my right shouilder, can swing it up into position instantly this way. Meanwhile, I'm carrying muzzle down.

Could you step me through this (PM or new topic if we're straying too much). Do you remove the sling from the right shoulder, or just rotate the rifle on around and slid it over*? Isn't the gun upside down if you just rotate it up? I was trying to figure if this would work for me, or even the gun in front of my right shoulder, muzzle down, w/ sling in back of shoulder, but that felt pretty awkward. I'm also using a leather shooting sling, not a carry sling of any kind. My sling would be way to tight for * unless the muzzle was dragging the ground.

Thanks,

buck460XVR
December 16, 2013, 11:59 AM
I know there are regional differences in how we all hunt that helps to explain some of our differing perspectives. That said, based on my own experiences, finding a spot where deer are know to frequent, choosing the animal you want, and placing your shot where you want it on the animal are all part of responsible hunting.

Flushing a deer that requires an instant snap shot seems like a good way to maim, gut shoot, blow out a hip (hitting that ball joint from the rear can literally destroy a deer; one of my only running shots taught me that lesson) just any number bad things can happen. In addition, if adrenalin and speed are governing a shot, how careful can one be about knowing the target and what is beyond it?

For every deer I have shot when flushed while still hunting, I have shot two that were still in their beds or standing looking another way. Many were so close that the sound of releasing the safety itself alerted them something was not right. Between the sound and the motion of Racking a bolt, lever or any other action would turn an easy shot into a running shot. As for running shots being irresponsible, they are no more irresponsible than standing shots when one is proficient and picks their shot. They are not for everyone and not for every situation. Making a good shot at a flushed deer @ 20-40 yards is not hard. Just cause some can't do it, don't mean it ain't a "gimme" to those that can. Just cause one shoots their only runnin' deer in the hams don't mean we all do. It also is just as safe if you already know whats beyond your target before you flush it. The areas I still hunt, I know very well. Very few "jumped" deer surprise me. Most times I am already waitin' for them to jump up when they do. Folks that close one eye while scoping a deer at 100 yards for a period of time are more prone to not see whats just beyond their target than I am. Many folks take poor percentage shots at standing deer and are influenced by speed and adrenaline just as much as those that "jump" shoot deer.

All modern firearms have at least THREE safeties. A mechanical one on the firearm, keeping your finger off the trigger until it is on target and always having the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. I only hunt with those that use all three. Continuously hunting with someone who doesn't, means they aren't the only one being irresponsible.

AKElroy
December 16, 2013, 02:25 PM
Continuously hunting with someone who doesn't, means they aren't the only one being irresponsible.

Fist, I don't regularly hunt with folks that ignore the rules. I share a lease that supports 4 guns. Every year, some leave, and new ones join. I do my best to coordinate trips when I can be alone with my son.

Second, the comment about shooting a running animal in the hams could have been more easily stated "just because you can't shoot a running animal doesn't mean I can't." Nice.

That shot was a followup to another hunter grazing his buck trying to cut his throat with a .220 swift. He was 9, and his father had placed the trophy buck that he razed for this purpose in a 20 acre pin. The kid emptied four rounds in the general direction of the barely wounded animal, now running in a panicked sprint back and forth along the 300 yard fence line. I was asked to put it down when the kid ran dry. Sprinting animal, trying to jump the fence in panic every 100' or so, was not about to give me a shot. I aimed for the nose of the blurry panic and he piled up in a heap at a hair over 250 yards from the jeep I was standing in. Job done. Animal went in a hole, after I caped him for the kids trophy. Saved the backstraps. That was all that was edible.

ldlfh7
December 16, 2013, 04:42 PM
Chamber loaded. No reason to have the safety off if you are not actually planning on shooting. If I am hunting in a fixed position, I keep one chambered and the safety off.

jmr40
December 16, 2013, 05:14 PM
Quick snap shots do not always mean shooting at an alerted and fleeing animal. There have been many times when I never spotted a deer until it was within 15-20 feet. I have been able to quietly move the safety and get off a shot at a deer that never knew I was there. It would have been impossible to chamber a round with any action type quietly enough to make the shot.

There are other times where footing and conditions are just too unpredictable. There is simply no way I'll get off a shot while crossing a fence, a log over a creek, or scrambling up some terrain anyway. There is a time when it is better to unload.

I don't trust any safety, but it is one more thing that has to go wrong for an AD to happen. Using the safety between the ears is fine, but I don't trust it either. I'll use both.

Just a note about the guys who NEVER load a chamber until right before they shoot. It has been my observation that anytime most folks "THINK" they are handling an unloaded gun they are more careless in their handling. Just watch a bunch of guys in a gun store or gun show. When they 'KNOW" the chamber is unloaded they are usually much more observant of muzzle control.

I feel safer with a group of guys who know their guns are loaded and act accordingly. Than with guys who think their guns are unloaded. It is surprising how often a gun that is supposed to be unloaded is not.

There is no right or wrong answer all the time. Use common sense is my advice.

buck460XVR
December 16, 2013, 05:32 PM
Second, the comment about shooting a running animal in the hams could have been more easily stated "just because you can't shoot a running animal doesn't mean I can't." Nice.


I thought it was as politically correct and as diplomatic as any response to your post that snap shots are and I quote.....an instant snap shot seems like a good way to maim, gut shoot, blow out a hip (hitting that ball joint from the rear can literally destroy a deer; one of my only running shots taught me that lesson) just any number bad things can happen.

That along with the inference that hunting with a round chambered means one will not take the time needed to identify their game, the safety of the shot and the quality of the shot presented. All of which had nuttin' to do with the question asked in the OP. You were correct in your first statement about the differences we all have in where and how we hunt, but then you went on to say your way is right while others are just maiming and gut-shooting.:rolleyes: I don't jump outta moving vehicles to take my snap shots, but I did not criticize you for doing so or claim it was a good way to maim or gut shoot an animal. But odds are, it is more dangerous and just as prone to wounding than shooting a running animal while one is walking carefully while still hunting. I wonder since you did not have time for the "Sammy" to come to a complete stop, if you had time to identify your target and what was beyond it. Nice.

AKElroy
December 16, 2013, 05:40 PM
quick snap shots do not always mean shooting at an alerted and fleeing animal. There have been many times when I never spotted a deer until it was within 15-20 feet. I have been able to quietly move the safety and get off a shot at a deer that never knew I was there. It would have been impossible to chamber a round with any action type quietly enough to make the shot.

This clears up your position nicely. Down here in texas, we hunt feeders. Walking around during deer season is considered extremely dangerous, not to mention rude. During the season, we don't even drive the trails during off-hunting hours just to avoid upsetting any pattern the deer have established.

When we "walk up" a deer down here, they are flagging and bounding. This country is so thick, there really is no way to move around safely or quietly. We have a heavy oak canopy, with dry leaves feet thick in places, along with cactus everywhere, mesquite, and rattlers. We watch our feet here.

The only animals we purposely walk up are pigs off season, or like yesterday when my son and I were the only ones on the property. Those animals allow time to lever a round as the gun swings to shoulder. Since they are already alerted, the noise is inconsequential at that point. In fact, I need them to break out in the open. The thickets here are not something one goes into to retrieve an animal, particularly one with cutters that may not be completely dead. Pigs are not so fast that one can't make a careful nose-leading shot once they bolt. Since controlling their numbers is critical, if I do happen to gut shoot one, I don't lose any sleep over it.

As for deer, we just never hunt them the way you describe. If we accidentally walk one up and it bolts, we just let it go rather than risking poor shot placement, or the taking of a poor animal. Only 4 tags in the wallet, and LOTS of deer to evaluate.

I can see that is clearly not the case everywhere.

AKElroy
December 16, 2013, 05:57 PM
Chamber loaded. No reason to have the safety off if you are not actually planning on shooting. If I am hunting in a fixed position, I keep one chambered and the safety off.


Not sure how heavy the trigger is on your chosen rifle, but I would urge you to reconsider this practice. I have rifles set at 2 lbs, give or take. A drop on the butt off my 8' ladder could easily apply that to the sear. I Lost an acquaintance my senior year in high school. Dropped his .270 out of the tree he was sitting, and unfortunately his trigger was light enough for it to fire when the butt struck the ground. Investigators speculated he fell asleep and dropped it. He was not able to say exactly what happened, having expired within seconds of that shot. Entered under his left arm and exited his right collar bone, taking out everything in between.

Unless you have it set heavy, or you have one of the bladed accu-trigger deelybobs, your trigger neither knows nor cares if it is your finger or inertia applying sufficient force to break that sear.

AKElroy
December 16, 2013, 06:04 PM
Since we are on the topic, I will relay one other tragedy. I lost a great-uncle (My mother's father's brother) to an ND. he grabbed the .410 on the seat of his truck by the barrel and pulled it toward himself. Trigger snagged something on the seat, seatbelt maybe, and the shot eviscerated him. This was in the mid 1960's. He lingered quite a few days until peritonitis claimed him.

These are the events that have informed the no-loaded chamber rules I live by. My grandfather, having lost his brother, pounded these rules into me from a very young age. So much as a single muzzle brush with my daisy power line, and I was without the rifle for the rest of the day. If I ever walked in the house with a loaded BB gun or .22, I was without it for the remainder of the trip.

buck460XVR
December 16, 2013, 06:06 PM
That shot was a followup to another hunter grazing his buck trying to cut his throat with a .220 swift. He was 9, and his father had placed the trophy buck that he razed for this purpose in a 20 acre pin. The kid emptied four rounds in the general direction of the barely wounded animal, now running in a panicked sprint back and forth along the 300 yard fence line. I was asked to put it down when the kid ran dry. Sprinting animal, trying to jump the fence in panic every 100' or so, was not about to give me a shot. I aimed for the nose of the blurry panic and he piled up in a heap at a hair over 250 yards from the jeep I was standing in. Job done. Animal went in a hole, after I caped him for the kids trophy. Saved the backstraps. That was all that was edible.


As has been said before, snap shots aren't always just a desperate hunter taking a desperate shot. Many times it's a responsible hunter taking the only quality shot he knows he will be presented before the opportunity is lost and the animal is never seen again. When hunting in areas of thick cover, shots can be quick, but many times they are close and are a good presentation. Many times if a shot does not present itself, a shot isn't taken. No different than shootin' one off bait/feeder. This certainly is not the case when a tame animal is placed in a enclosed fence. Even if the animal is grazed and barely wounded as you claim, it was not going anywhere and would have quieted down and at some point soon enough, given you the opportunity to take a quality shot. Using such a fiasco to define others that hunt with a round chambered.......nice.

AKElroy
December 16, 2013, 09:50 PM
Using such a fiasco to define others that hunt with a round chambered.......nice.

First, that is not my intent at all. You seem to be changing this thread on carrying chamber loaded into defending the ability to take clean shots on running game. I mentioned my experiences on snap shots because they happened, regardless of whether the results were good or bad, and they all started with an empty chamber. You can debate it all day, but my experiences are what they are. I've cleanly taken flushed game from an empty chamber, so it's certainly possible. I'm not a great shot, I have posted numerous failings throughout this forum over the years.

As for the deer I had to put down, you may well be right on waiting him out, although a 20 acre pin is hardly a trap, and the deer was hardly tame. He was also making a right mess of the fence, so the continuing damage was also a consideration, as was the possibility of him actually getting through it. In any event, I only mentioned it to share that sprinting deer don't make good targets. Seemed an obvious point.

You seam to have a great deal of experience and are no doubt skilled in taking quick shots on unexpected quarry. That is definitely NOT the case with most shooters, and for those people and those around them, carrying a gun that they can get to the ready from an empty chamber might just save someone from a tragedy. We have folks in this thread hunting with chambered rounds and safety off. My assumption is these are bolt guns, which is exceptionally foolish.

No one has ever had an ND with an empty chamber. That much I am certain of. We hunt differently. I am not trying to argue, only sharing my experiences. I successfully take my limit of game every year, even with my unpopular safety rules. Not that I'm a great hunter, but that I will go every weekend until I've got what I want. I know that is not an option for many, and they must make the most of any opportunity to take game.

If I lived in your neck of the woods, I might well hunt as you do. Loaded chamber, safety on while actually in the field, stalking game, unloading as needed to cross fences or enter/exit the truck, taking only those shots where I have the advantage. I would prefer a savage style tang safety in that instance, as the model 70 three position safety is too easy to accidentally lever off for lefties like me. For where and what I hunt, stalking deer is not really an option. We flush pigs on purpose, and working a lever is not slowing me down one bit.

buck460XVR
December 17, 2013, 01:14 PM
You seem to be changing this thread on carrying chamber loaded into defending the ability to take clean shots on running game.

No, if you go back and reread the thread you'll see you posted several times before my first response. You were the one to initially infer that hunting with a round in the chamber led to "snap" shooting and maimed/gutshot animals. I responded to this the following day, three posts later, only because it was your erred opinion and not a fact. I was not the one to criticize the way others hunted....you were. To defend myself and others was only in response. I don't take 600 yards shots because ethically, I can't. But I know there are plenty of folks out there that can. Should I claim that them doing so "seems like a good way to maim, gut shoot, blow out a hip (hitting that ball joint from the rear can literally destroy a deer; one of my only running shots taught me that lesson) just any number bad things can happen."?



No one has ever had an ND with an empty chamber. That much I am certain of.


Actually, while it is virtually impossible for a AD to happen with an unloaded firearm, a majority of NDs occur when folks believe the chamber is empty. Those folks are CERTAIN also that the gun is empty. I'm certain tho, that even with a round in the chamber, there has never been a ND when the gun was on safe and no finger pulled the trigger....and if there was and the muzzle was pointed in a safe direction, nuttin' but a hole in the roof and a stained pair of shorts.

I apologize to the author of the OP if my off topic discussion distracted from his original intent of the thread. I just don't appreciate folks criticizing my skills or methods, just because theirs are different.

ngnrd
December 17, 2013, 02:08 PM
If I am hunting - even if hiking at the time - there's a round in the chamber. If I'm hiking - even to where I'll be hunting - there's not. If I see game while I'm hiking, it only takes about 2 seconds to transition to hunting ready with a round in the chamber. Either way, I always treat the firearm as if it is loaded; doing otherwise is foolish.

Hokkmike
December 17, 2013, 03:40 PM
The round is always in the chamber and the safe is always on from start to end of hunt.

AKElroy
December 17, 2013, 05:14 PM
I don't take 600 yards shots because ethically, I can't. But I know there are plenty of folks out there that can. Should I claim that them doing so "seems like a good way to maim, gut shoot, blow out a hip (hitting that ball joint from the rear can literally destroy a deer; one of my only running shots taught me that lesson) just any number bad things can happen."?

That quote was in response to those claiming the timing necessary to rack a bolt was critical to making the shot. If that is the case, then I contend the shot is rushed. I stand by my belief that such shots are at least somewhat more likely to have poor placement.

As for the noise of working the bolt alerting embedded game, I completely agree, and would likely hunt as you do in that situation. I just never do in my neck of the woods.

As for whether you should likewise claim that it is unethical to take 600 yard shots, my answer is YES. Sorry if that offends, but even a perfect shot taken when the animal presented, with perfect doping, with exceptional skill, can only account for wher the animal is when the sear breaks. Not for where it will be for the half second or so that projectile is in flight.

Zeke/PA
December 17, 2013, 05:36 PM
I was taught to be mindful of the guns safety even if it IS on!

HankR
December 18, 2013, 10:20 AM
the safe is always on from start to end of hunt.

That's the way my son did it a couple of weeks ago. Lined up the perfect shot (according to him), pulled trigger. Nothing. Oops. I guess he really was "hiking with a loaded rifle" and not "hunting". I bet he'll remember to take the safety off next time.

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