Handgun Hunting-The Ultimate Challenge


Handgun Hunting-The Ultimate Challenge

John J. Woods
Magnolia Outdoor Communications


Are you a seasoned deer hunter frankly tired of the same ole methods of hunting? You started out using traditional long guns, all kinds of rifles with magnification optics. You tired of that, so you took on bow hunting with a modern compound bow. Some years later, your interest in that style waned. Then you tried an old fashioned longbow. Sure, you enjoyed them all, but the challenge was lacking. So what next?

At this point in the hunting life of some experienced hunters, they begin to search for another challenge. If you’re at that point, then let me suggest you take on deer hunting with a handgun. Sounds simple enough, until you get equipped then spend a few trials at the gun range. Hmmmm, this might take some work. That learning curve work is just the beginning of this new challenge.

First of all, handguns are hard to shoot, well. Most modern hunting handguns mounted with an optical sight or even a red dot can be even more difficult to settle down on the target. After all, you’re holding the rigged gun with an extended arm that has minimal muscular support for the most part. Even using a shooting pod or stick takes some regular practice to be accurate enough for hunting.

Hunting deer with a handgun does not take a monster powerful gun, but it takes an accurate one as well as the shooter. If you are daring enough with time, practice and experience afield, you should be able to hit a 10-inch pie plate at 100 yards, but 50 yards would be the ideal goal.

Handguns are not truly intended to be long range affairs. The deal with handgunning is to stalk close to the game or wait them out until their range is appropriate for the gun and load you are using. So, what should that be?

Hunting handguns come in single shots, single action, and double action. Some semi-autos are also used. Generally the low end cartridge is the .357 Magnum. Beyond that the list includes the .41 Magnum, .44 Magnum, .45 Colt, .454 Casull, .460 and .500 Smith and Wesson for revolvers. Single shots often use rifle class cartridges, and the semi-auto’s favorite is the 10 mm. This doesn’t list the entire field but a big portion of it.

Handgun hunting successfully takes shooting practice and patience waiting on the best shot. Stealth still hunting can be effective and fun. These are the challenges of handgun hunting. If you get bored by other methods, try this one.

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Award winning outdoor writer/photographer since 1978. Over 3000 articles and columns published nationally. Field & Stream Hero of Conservation in 2007. Fields of writing includes hunting most game in American, Canada, and Europe, fishing fresh and saltwater, destination travel, product reviews, industry consulting, and conservation issues. Currently VP at largest community college in Mississippi in economic development and workforce training with 40 years of experience in Higher Education. BS-MS in wildlife sciences from MO. University, and then a PhD in Industrial Psychology. Married with two children and Molly the Schnoodle.

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