5 Handgunning Essentials for Western Hunting

5 Handgunning Essentials for Western Hunting

Posted 2018-06-18T07:00:00Z  by  NAHC

Do You Ever Go Afield with a Handgun?

Have you ever hunted with a handgun? (Shutterstock / Sharon Day photo)

Western hunting is hard enough. Thrown a handgun into the mix and it gets even harder. Should you decide to try handgunning on the prairie, some specialized gear to remember includes:

1. Shooting Sticks or Bipod

It's important to have a solid rest -- especially when hunting in the open country. Preferably, you'll have a setup that's adjustable to allow steady sighting from a sitting or kneeling position.

2. A Holster

A hunting handgun is meant to be carried in the hand, but a harnessed shoulder holster sure adds comfort in carrying a heavy, scoped rig during long hikes between stalks. It frees up your hands for glassing, too.

3. Scope Covers

Getting within .44-range of prairie game requires a lot of crawling and belly-sliding through the sage brush. Leaving scope covers in place until the moment of truth ensures you'll have a clear view of what you're aiming at.

4. Shooting Glasses/Sun Glasses

High-quality glasses will doubly protect your eyes from specks of unburned powder and the glare of the bright western sun. Have them at the ready. And take an extra pair, too.

5. Extra Socks

Hunting with a handgun for pronghorn and mule deer is more akin to bowhunting than rifle hunting. You do more hiking to find stalkable game, and you make more and longer stalks. Hot or cold, wet or dry, your feet take a beating. Changing into fresh socks at lunchtime is amazingly rejuvenating. Almost as good as a nap.

Don't Miss: This was originally published on August 23, 2001.

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