Small game hunting firearms of choice
Hunting has always been a sport that has the element of danger and the thrill of the chase. From an activity that has been vital to survival and self-preservation, hunting is now considered merely a sport to a majority of the world.
There are many different types of hunting ranging from deer hunting, big game hunting, varmint hunting to small game hunting. Big game hunting goes for animals such as big cats, bears, boars, elephants, etc. Varmint hunting involves getting rid of pests that damage agriculture or property. Small game hunting chases after small animals such as grouse, pheasant, squirrels, etc. Consequently, the tools and the methods for hunting vary between categories.
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The strategies and tactics for hunting prey is an ever changing field, but it never hurts to learn the fundamentals. Fundamentals in all activities act as the foundation for all other things moving forward.
For small game hunting, the choice of firearm to use depends on, of course, the preference of the hunter, the nature and climate of the environment, and his ability to obtain the weapon.
The main tools of the trade in small game hunting falls in two categories: .22 caliber cartridge rifles and the venerable shotgun.
Characteristics of the .22 rifle feature high accuracy, low recoil, low noise, and longer ranges. The cost of the rounds is inexpensive, as low as 2 cents a round. Almost all gun manufacturers chamber the round in their gun models. The noise a .22 round makes usually will not surprise small game at long ranges.
Shotguns are what most consider serious “fun guns” since people require little training to use it to hit a target. Shotguns fire a hail of shot from a short distance. It actually fires at an area instead of a single target, at the cost of accuracy,
Shotguns are very effective in areas with a lot of concealment. Just know where the varmint is before you fire.
The CHOICE of firearm just follows one cardinal rule: it depends on the situation.
Do your homework. If the hunting area has a fair amount of open ground where you can eyeball a squirrel from a long distance against the sun, by all means, use a .22 rifle. If an area has a lot of scrub, thickets and bushes, use a shotgun.
Most hunters take both weapons to be prepared for any situation. However, the extra weapon, ammunition and kit will be an added burden to your gear. The smarter hunter does his homework and tries to determine what to expect before he goes into the field. Then he can make the decision; which weapon maximizes the experience and increases the chances of success.
The most significant aspect of understanding hunting with handguns is to be familiar with your prey and determine how to move toward it to get within killing “range”.
A successful and safe handgun hunt should start long before hunting season begins. This means that during the off season, you need to study and understand your weapon.
Your familiarity with your weapon often determines when you will be ready to put it into use. If the weapon is still unfamiliar to you, you are not yet ready to hunt.
Purchasing a firearms then setting it aside in storage until the hunting season begins, is not a good idea. You must practice as often as possible when hunting season is approaching.
For instance, when you have a “semi-automatic” handgun, know what must be done when it jams; determine the length of time it will take you to successfully correct the problem and reload it. You need to reload it quickly, preferably within two seconds or less, and need to continue practicing until you can achieve this skill. You also need to familiarize yourself with how to remove and reinsert the magazine.
The key to successful “handgun hunting” is to determine your limits and then hunt within those limits at all times. The more you practice, the more you will know what types of shots it is possible for you to generate. With a realistic self ability assessment, you can establish your reputation for clean, quick and humane kills; which should be the objective of all hunters regardless of what tools one chooses to use.
For the small-game hunter, your limit will be the farthest distance that you can shoot while keeping all of your shots steady. What matters most is your shooting consistency, not how you often you can hit your target.
Handgun hunting is a great challenge and will teach you that besides aiming and using a handgun, there are many other factors that still need to be considered, such as wind direction, the animals habits so that you can effectively figure out the tactics needed to get closer to your target, or how to plan an ambush when the animal passes by.
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Furthermore, you must realize that a camouflage outfit is not nearly as significant as the ability to sit quietly and remain still.
Hunting will teach you patience which is necessary to be able to watch your target escape because you know that it is outside your “effective range”. When you are able to do this you will be a hunter that will be respected by others.
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