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Side arm carry while hunting. Where legal.

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by whughett, Nov 5, 2019.

  1. whughett

    whughett Member

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    Now reaching my “winter years’ I read these pages and think back to my early hunting years in the 70’s onward. Buddies and I hunted in Maine and the state allowed open carry of hand guns. I carried A Winchester 94 and strapped on, in a fancy tooled leather holster was a Ruger New Model Single Six convertible in stainless steel. 22Mag cylinder installed. It’s purpose in my mind was for the “Coup De Grace” if needed. Though in retrospect I think I just thought it looked cool.
    At this point I need to mention while one could carry sidearms openly, loaded guns in a vehicle was a forbidden. As non resident hunters in largely unknown areas we moved around a lot.
    The chore of unloading a single action revolver and a Tubular magazine several time a day soon grew old and after that first season ,the single six was left in the rented cabin and the Winchester was loaded with three rounds.

    Over the next 25 years of hunting there I never went back to side arm carry and still loaded only three in the Winchester, until I replaced it with several different rifles with detachable magazines.
     
  2. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    I carry a Ruger Old Army when I hunt with black powder. It came in handy one day when a pistol bullet in a sabot blew up on a deer's shoulder and didn't penetrate to the vitals. The small buck stopped with his left front leg dangling at 40 yards. I aimed a bit high with my ROA and drilled him through the lungs. He went 50 yds. and piled up.

    It's another somewhat heavy thing to carry when muzzleloading but can occasionally pay off.

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    3ptFE10-12fWEB.jpg
     
  3. beeenbag
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    beeenbag Contributing Member

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    previously, I carried whatever concealed carry gun I was utilizing at the time. I must say though, now I carry a 686+ in the cross draw position, loaded with heavy hard cast, and this was inspired by my most recent witnessing of a black bear crossing while I was sitting in the stand with my bow and my xds. We have never had bear where I live, and I know they aren't naturally aggressive, but better safe than sorry.
     
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  4. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    In have carried a sidearm every time while elk hunting in Colorado since age 14. Not necessarily to hunt with, but for all of the other reasons to carry a sidearm.
     
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  5. whughett

    whughett Member

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    You know I wasn’t even thinking’”other than firearm” hunting as I never did any. With bow and arrow and some states cross bow and single shot muzzle loaders so prevalent In bear country a side arm would be prudent if game laws allowed.
     
  6. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Since revolvers are my primary weapon when hunting deer anymore, yep....you guessed it, I carry one. The thing with carrying something like a .22 mag for the so called “Coup De Grace” is that in most states, the sidearm must be legal for taking deer, before one can legally use it for the “Coup De Grace”. In some states it may even be illegal to have a gun not legal for deer on your possession when hunting deer, unless you have a valid CWD and the gun is carried as thus. I know here in Wisconsin I can carry my CWC firearm while Turkey hunting, but was informed it must stay concealed unless I am actively using it for SD. Any other us(like shooting at coyotes outta shotgun range) and it is considered carrying an illegal weapon for Turkey Hunting..
     
  7. 25-20 WCF

    25-20 WCF Member

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    I carried a short-barreled Ruger BH all the time when rifle hunting deer on Kodiak. Used it a few times to finish off animals, shot a couple deer with it. As for the time it takes to unload a single action revolver - it actually takes about three seconds. When getting in a vehicle I simply removed the cylinder. Revolver is now legal in a vehicle. Simple and quick.
     
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  8. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Some of the areas where I hunt are very remote. As in an hours drive back to pavement with no cell service. And there have been situations where vehicles parked at trailheads have been broken into. While I realize it is unlikely there is the possibility of running into bad guys in such remote places. If in those areas I carry a compact 9mm pistol just like I would in town.
     
  9. whughett

    whughett Member

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    At the time the 22Magnum was legal for deer in Maine.
     
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  10. MaxP

    MaxP Member

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    Hahaha! You beat me to it!
     
  11. guyfromohio

    guyfromohio Member

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    As I put more weight under the skin, I’ve had to shed weight outside of it. I no longer carry a hunting-appropriate sidearm unless I’m using it to hunt. I generally carry my CCW as I normally would.
     
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  12. jak67429

    jak67429 Member

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    I used to carry a 12 ga and a rugger single 6 with 22mag cylinder. when small game hunting, used the shotgun for birds and the pistol for tree rats and bunnies.
     
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  13. Glockula

    Glockula Member

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    Snakes and bears are common where I hunt. i used to carry my taurus .357 but now I am more likely to have my G43 or 23. Less weight for a neligible loss in performance.

    More than a few cotton mouths have been dispatched with the .357 and G43. Also a few coup de gras. No bears but it makes me feel better
     
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  14. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    Here in the sunshine state, I normally carry my old police surplus gen 2 Glock 23 beater. I consider it a must when turkey hunting with a shotgun or deer hunting during black powder season. 4 legged targets include hogs, bears (defensive use only), and coyotes. Last week I used it after a less than perfect shot on a deer took out the spine and dropped her on the road paralyzed and with a penetrated lung but still alive. It was much cleaner and quicker than reloading the ML rifle or sticking her with a knife.
     
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  15. IdaD

    IdaD Member

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    I don't bother carrying anything but a rifle when I'm big game hunting. Once my tag is filled and I'm not carrying my rifle, I'll generally carry a 9mm. I actually used it to finish my brother in law's wounded buck with a head shot a couple of years ago but that's the only time I've actually fired it because I don't exactly want to plink in the woods with the thing while others in the group are still hunting. I don't like being in the woods without some kind of firearm, but I also don't feel like I need more than a hunting rifle.
     
  16. Random 8

    Random 8 Member

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    I don't carry a sidearm while hunting per se, but I do keep a suitable arm in the truck and/or cabin. Either a .41 Mag Blackhawk or my .357 Taurus are available for a tough tracking job in heavy cover, or while performing a task such as hauling out someone else's deer or rearranging a stand where carrying a rifle is not practical, but there is still a chance at a random deer.
     
  17. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    I only use carbine length rifles that shoot fast. Sometimes I carry a sidearm too but not often.
     
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  18. Highland Lofts

    Highland Lofts Member

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    It sucks New Yorkistan doesn't reconize out of State pistol permits, i have six of them.
    If they did I would carry a handgun to match up caliber for caliber to the rifle I use for deer hunting.
    I don't hunt here in Washington State, but I'm up.in the mountains a lot most every weekend shooting with grandson. We both carry handguns.
     
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  19. Jack Ryan

    Jack Ryan Member

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    I've carried lots of different handguns over the years while squirrel hunting, turkey hunting, deer hunting along WITH my real hunting weapon, usually a shotgun. Probably as recently as just 2 or 3 years ago, I had to relearn just how useless that is. An extra lump of iron, heavy, in the way, uncomfortable while sitting in a tree stand, heavy and only gets heavier.

    When I am hunting, the smart thing for ME to do is have my HUNTING weapon in my hands. If it isn't enough weapon for hunting and needs to be "backed up", then I need a better weapon to leave the house with. When my wits are about me, I carry one weapon, the one I INTEND to kill stuff with. But every once in a while every 4 or 5 years or so the last 20 years I've let the "would be cool if" over whelm the obvious.
     
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  20. hq

    hq Member

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    For DG hunts I often carry a Colt Anaconda as an emergency backup. Some invitational hunts have a dress code of bringing an appropriate sidearm for coup de grace, especially when the terrain is rocky and overpenetration at point blank range can cause a ricochet. A well worn Glock 17 or a Walther P22 will do nicely; they're relatively lightweight and I don't worry about losing them. In most cases, however, it's really not necessary or even useful and I rather refrain from carrying any extra weight. Not even the featherweight 16oz of a fully loaded P22.
     
  21. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

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    That's very prudent.

    While black bears aren't "naturally aggressive", more folks have been killed by them in the past two decades than by browns, grizzlies, and polar bears. (I think it's because of encroachment of habitat and stupidity from tourists, coupled with growing black bear populations.)
    Bears that are very hungry are dangerous,
    Bears that are injured are dangerous,
    Bears that are hungry because they have been injured are dangerous,
    Sow bears around their cubs are quite dangerous,

    And you can't really predict where you will meet one or more of the above.

    When I was working as relief in the caller/dispatch center for the police in my locality, a woman called in with a bear in her pool. Seems the bear had figured out a good evening swim in well chlorinated water was just the thing for skin parasites and fleas....quite laughable, and the bear was quick to retreat to the park area of the C&O Canal National Park when it saw humans. Funny ! :thumbup:

    The bear that was in my neighborhood last year was seen with an injury, likely from being hit by a passing car several days prior, and although young, he was getting pretty hungry and very unneighborly. Not Funny. :thumbdown:

    Not to mention the aggressive coyotes that have been in the area (probably really coyote and dog crossbreeds). So there are plenty of four legged reasons to carry, not to mention two legged reasons....good hunting areas are also good areas to conceal pot plants. I normally use a flintlock for deer hunting in all deer seasons, so IF I didn't carry a backup, I might be able to handle one two-legged problem, ...but more than one ?....;)

    LD
     
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  22. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    Coyotes, meth and heroin addicts are bad around these parts as well as trespassers so I always carry a sidearm when hunting.

    I believe if a bow hunter has an issue with coyotes, wolves, bear, lion, etc. in their area and they come across that animal and it shows aggression they should be allowed to defend themselves. Now, putting down an animal is a grey area because of poachers who will claim they were euthanizing it and actually shot it with a pistol.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2019
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  23. beeenbag
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    beeenbag Contributing Member

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    no matter how much I agree with your mindset, I would advise not publicly expressing it.

    Edited my quoted post as did ohihunter. :p
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2019
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  24. Highland Lofts

    Highland Lofts Member

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    That is why one should cary a side arm at all times both in the woods and in the city.

    A friend has been borrowing either my 41magnum Redhawk or one of my 44 magnum Redhawks to carry durring Washington States elk season. He hunts the Mount Adams area way back in off the main road by himself.
    Two years ago he figured he hasn't needed a handgun in over twenty years of elk hunting so he didn't borrow one.
    He was all set up and standing at his spot watching for his elk to appear when he heard a strange noise.
    It happened to be a small black bear cub. The cub was getting closer and closer to him as it was wondering around aimlessly.
    The cub got close to him.and noticed him standing there and decided to investigate what he was.
    Then the momma bear showed up snd was making it"s way to the cub and she winded him and didn't like what she seen and or smelled.
    The bear cub was about 25 feet from him and the mother bear was closing her gap pretty rapidly. When she got about 100 feet away she started snorting and grawling. She stood up and made a short fake charge and repeated it.
    The bear cub ran and climbed a tree. The mother bear stayed put a few minutes and acessed the situation fron about 30 feet away and went to thevtree the bear cub was in and started sniffing the cub. As she was focused on the cub he was back stepping away fron them and would stop still when she looked his way. He couldn't get out of there fast enough but had to move slowly.
    This could of turned out really bad for him only having a compound bow.
    After this encounter he went out and bought his own 44 magnum revolver.
    You never know what can and will happen.

    I read a story about a guy out deer hunting in Michigan that was sitting waiting for a deer and a pack of wolves passed through and he was right in the middle of the wolf pack with only his hunting rifle.
    That would bexa scarry situation as well if they decided to attack.
     
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  25. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    What I failed to mention earlier is that we occasionally hunt wild pigs at night. Sometimes, a less-than-perfect shot requires tracking, and they always run into the swamp. Thick, nasty, Florida swamp. This involves navigating through this wet maze/obstacle course with a flashlight in one hand, looking for a blood trail leading to a wounded hog, and the possibility of encountering more of them on the way. For this purpose, I am considering investing in a safariland holster that will accommodate my Glock 21 with attached white light, since moving through that stuff with a rifle or shotgun (even if light equipped) is difficult at best- especially when it comes to bringing that firearm quickly into action. Not so with a hi-cap handgun in a safariland. I have the required holster for a 19/23, but 9mm is less than I would like for the purpose, and my G23 is Gen2, so no light rail.
     
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