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Q:
how many use or carry a side arm while deer hunting ? and what would be a good cal. to use if one was to be interested in buying one? also scope or no scope ?

Question by 12pacabs. Uploaded on November 18, 2009

Answers (22)

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from phconk wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

if you are hunting somewere in canada or EXTREMELY sucluded yo problbly don't need one. the only reason would be for bears, so get some bear spray wich will cost about 300$ cheeper. if you need one thogh go with a .45

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I hunt hard and on my two feet tracking. Even if I could take one hunting (I now live in Canada), a side arm would be unnecessary weight. And the way I hunt, excessive weight can be a matter of life and death. A scope is another matter. A good variable (3x9) is worth the weight. Just make sure you remember to turn the thing back to 3x after cranking it up to scan long distance. If you are mostly hunting heavy cover, I would recommend you stick with open sights. And, yes, I have hunted grizzly country (Montana for 30 years) and I still did not pack a pistol (one in the saddle bag though).

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from BioGuy wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I don't carry one because I carry too much other stuff into the woods to even consider bringing one along. You can't go wrong with getting a .357 to carry as a sidearm. It'll put down a deer if needed, is lighter weight than a .44 mag, and can also shoot the cheaper .38 ammo for plinking and target shooting. No scope.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jestr1 wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I dont carry one either. I used to have a 38 I took along a couple times. Never really saw the need for it. I have a rifle or a shotgun If I need it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Honker

You should never advocate the use of a scope to "scan" anywhere. That is what binoculars and spotting scopes are for....

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kentucky Hunter wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

i carry a 41 s/w

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Greenhead wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I never carry one while hunting. A sidearm is extra weight that does not offer any advantage. Living in Alaska, I am nearly always in bear county, but my rifle is a much better match for a bear than any handgun. What would you need a sidearm for that you couldn't do with your rifle?

That being said, when hiking or camping without a rifle, I never stray past my mailbox without a sidearm.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

For many years I carried a small .22 revolver while deer hunting for a finishing shot behind the ear. More recently I have been packing a .44 Magnum while hunting deer and wild boar. As I hunt from a ground blind, weight is not a problem

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fliphuntr14 wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

i use a 22. revolver i would like a hand gun i can hunt with to but the 22 is a good side arm. i used my 22 to scare off 2 black bears this year already while bow hunting.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from slothman wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I actually hunt with my s&w 44mag, and my dad used to hunt with his redhawk. He has a scope on his.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from 007 wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I seldom carry a handgun when hunting with a rifle, but if handgun hunting for deer it's usually with a scoped T/C Contender in either .30 Herret or .35 Remington, usually accompanied by an open sighted 5 1/2" Super Blackhawk.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I carry my XD45 every place I go, even Archery hunting and yes, it is legal to carry if you have concealed weapons permit which I do. I carry it not for hunting, it's the nut cases I occasionally run across I do!

I do carry at times a 44Mag Super Black Hawk, 250 grain Keith Cast with 21 grains of 2400

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I carry a S&W 686 Plus strictly as a backup. In a holster the weight is not so bad.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Backup? Backup for what? In case your rifle malfunctions? Do you think a revolver will do the same job? I don't think so. Three pounds of extra weight hanging on the hip is "not so bad"? It would be pretty bad for the kind of hiking and hunting I do. Even a shoulder holster wouldn't provide much relief (sweat like the devil under those things!). If that hip holster isn't tied to your leg, it's slapping, sliding around, or pulling your pants down. Ever done a lot of hiking in steep country with one of those things tied to your leg? It's not so bad - it's terrible! Big fat side arms are more decorative than anything else when hunting. An expensive fashion statement. Like Greenhead, I have carried a sidearm when fishing but only because a rifle is not practical.

Incidentally, when I lived and hunted in the States, I almost always carried my dad's S&W K-22 revolver when I was big game hunting - but in my day pack not on my side. I used it for popping grouse. If they didn't stand still long enough for me to get it out and shoot em, no big deal. One less bird I had to carry out and clean. And anybody that would use a .22 to finish off anything bigger than a bobcat in a trap is a heartless jerk. In most places it is illegal to use a .22 on deer no matter if it's the coup de grace or not. And for good reason.

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from squirrelgirl wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I carry my .380 everywhere except town

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Mthunter, I guess you and I don't hunt the same way. I reserve the limited space and weight in my daypack for more important things than binocs and spotting scopes. Stuff like food, water, and clothing. And I don't have binocs hanging around my neck when I'm climbing up and down mountains or through thick brush. Good way to get hurt. If you wear glasses like I do, then binocs are a bigger pain in the backside than they are worth. Have to take off my glasses to make them work and then 90% of the time they fog up when they get close to my sweaty body. Why would I bother to take the time to stop, take off my glasses, dig into my pack and pull out a spotting scope or binocs when I could simply pull up my rifle, turn up the scope's magnification to 9x, and have look at things? No shedding glasses or pack. Or reloading everything. Sometimes, if I remember, I'll throw the tiny pair of Nikon binocs someone gave me in my daypack or in a pocket on my goose hunting parka, but I hardly ever use them. Too much hassle. I can usually make due with the old fixed 4x Weaver on my 760 pump.

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from 99explorer wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I believe it's common knowledge among safety-conscious hunters that one should never use his rifle scope for spotting. Sorry 'bout that.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DakotaMan wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I don't carry a pistol deer hunting because of the extra weight. If I did, I would bring a .22 because they are light and can easily dispatch a wounded deer.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rezavoirdog wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I keep a .40 S&W Concealed (Yes, I have a Concealed Weapons Permit), I rarely carry the thing (if I do, in a thigh holster), unless my wife or my son are carrying their hunting rifles, I can be a back-up for a wounded deer or a mountain lion that jumps our tracks...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I'm not interested in scoping out other hunters. And if I was, I would NEVER use my rifle scope to watch them. Another hunter would have a better chance of getting hit by lightning in January at Nome, Alaska than by an accidental discharge from my gun while scanning the hillsides for wildlife. For safety sake, I too would not recommend that everyone scan with their rifle scopes - only the hunters with half a brain.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

I am a retired Conservation Officer and carried a sidearm for 35 years. Right now when I hunt I carry the S&W Model 19 that I was issued to carry in 1970. It may not be a necessity but I have always been used to carrying one.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from blackdawgz wrote 4 years 8 weeks ago

I've toted a lot of sidearms. I guess the most satisfactory was a Ruger New Model Blackhawk .44 Mag with a 12" barrell. For the Big Shoulder Holster, it is a T/C Encore of whatever caliber. The 6 mm TCU actually has better ballistics, but everybody understands a "Big Iron" and it may come down to that.

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from Greenhead wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I never carry one while hunting. A sidearm is extra weight that does not offer any advantage. Living in Alaska, I am nearly always in bear county, but my rifle is a much better match for a bear than any handgun. What would you need a sidearm for that you couldn't do with your rifle?

That being said, when hiking or camping without a rifle, I never stray past my mailbox without a sidearm.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from phconk wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

if you are hunting somewere in canada or EXTREMELY sucluded yo problbly don't need one. the only reason would be for bears, so get some bear spray wich will cost about 300$ cheeper. if you need one thogh go with a .45

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Honker

You should never advocate the use of a scope to "scan" anywhere. That is what binoculars and spotting scopes are for....

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from fliphuntr14 wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

i use a 22. revolver i would like a hand gun i can hunt with to but the 22 is a good side arm. i used my 22 to scare off 2 black bears this year already while bow hunting.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from slothman wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I actually hunt with my s&w 44mag, and my dad used to hunt with his redhawk. He has a scope on his.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I carry my XD45 every place I go, even Archery hunting and yes, it is legal to carry if you have concealed weapons permit which I do. I carry it not for hunting, it's the nut cases I occasionally run across I do!

I do carry at times a 44Mag Super Black Hawk, 250 grain Keith Cast with 21 grains of 2400

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from squirrelgirl wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I carry my .380 everywhere except town

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I hunt hard and on my two feet tracking. Even if I could take one hunting (I now live in Canada), a side arm would be unnecessary weight. And the way I hunt, excessive weight can be a matter of life and death. A scope is another matter. A good variable (3x9) is worth the weight. Just make sure you remember to turn the thing back to 3x after cranking it up to scan long distance. If you are mostly hunting heavy cover, I would recommend you stick with open sights. And, yes, I have hunted grizzly country (Montana for 30 years) and I still did not pack a pistol (one in the saddle bag though).

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from BioGuy wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I don't carry one because I carry too much other stuff into the woods to even consider bringing one along. You can't go wrong with getting a .357 to carry as a sidearm. It'll put down a deer if needed, is lighter weight than a .44 mag, and can also shoot the cheaper .38 ammo for plinking and target shooting. No scope.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jestr1 wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I dont carry one either. I used to have a 38 I took along a couple times. Never really saw the need for it. I have a rifle or a shotgun If I need it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kentucky Hunter wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

i carry a 41 s/w

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

For many years I carried a small .22 revolver while deer hunting for a finishing shot behind the ear. More recently I have been packing a .44 Magnum while hunting deer and wild boar. As I hunt from a ground blind, weight is not a problem

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 007 wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I seldom carry a handgun when hunting with a rifle, but if handgun hunting for deer it's usually with a scoped T/C Contender in either .30 Herret or .35 Remington, usually accompanied by an open sighted 5 1/2" Super Blackhawk.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I carry a S&W 686 Plus strictly as a backup. In a holster the weight is not so bad.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I believe it's common knowledge among safety-conscious hunters that one should never use his rifle scope for spotting. Sorry 'bout that.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DakotaMan wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I don't carry a pistol deer hunting because of the extra weight. If I did, I would bring a .22 because they are light and can easily dispatch a wounded deer.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rezavoirdog wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I keep a .40 S&W Concealed (Yes, I have a Concealed Weapons Permit), I rarely carry the thing (if I do, in a thigh holster), unless my wife or my son are carrying their hunting rifles, I can be a back-up for a wounded deer or a mountain lion that jumps our tracks...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

I am a retired Conservation Officer and carried a sidearm for 35 years. Right now when I hunt I carry the S&W Model 19 that I was issued to carry in 1970. It may not be a necessity but I have always been used to carrying one.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Mthunter, I guess you and I don't hunt the same way. I reserve the limited space and weight in my daypack for more important things than binocs and spotting scopes. Stuff like food, water, and clothing. And I don't have binocs hanging around my neck when I'm climbing up and down mountains or through thick brush. Good way to get hurt. If you wear glasses like I do, then binocs are a bigger pain in the backside than they are worth. Have to take off my glasses to make them work and then 90% of the time they fog up when they get close to my sweaty body. Why would I bother to take the time to stop, take off my glasses, dig into my pack and pull out a spotting scope or binocs when I could simply pull up my rifle, turn up the scope's magnification to 9x, and have look at things? No shedding glasses or pack. Or reloading everything. Sometimes, if I remember, I'll throw the tiny pair of Nikon binocs someone gave me in my daypack or in a pocket on my goose hunting parka, but I hardly ever use them. Too much hassle. I can usually make due with the old fixed 4x Weaver on my 760 pump.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I'm not interested in scoping out other hunters. And if I was, I would NEVER use my rifle scope to watch them. Another hunter would have a better chance of getting hit by lightning in January at Nome, Alaska than by an accidental discharge from my gun while scanning the hillsides for wildlife. For safety sake, I too would not recommend that everyone scan with their rifle scopes - only the hunters with half a brain.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from blackdawgz wrote 4 years 8 weeks ago

I've toted a lot of sidearms. I guess the most satisfactory was a Ruger New Model Blackhawk .44 Mag with a 12" barrell. For the Big Shoulder Holster, it is a T/C Encore of whatever caliber. The 6 mm TCU actually has better ballistics, but everybody understands a "Big Iron" and it may come down to that.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Backup? Backup for what? In case your rifle malfunctions? Do you think a revolver will do the same job? I don't think so. Three pounds of extra weight hanging on the hip is "not so bad"? It would be pretty bad for the kind of hiking and hunting I do. Even a shoulder holster wouldn't provide much relief (sweat like the devil under those things!). If that hip holster isn't tied to your leg, it's slapping, sliding around, or pulling your pants down. Ever done a lot of hiking in steep country with one of those things tied to your leg? It's not so bad - it's terrible! Big fat side arms are more decorative than anything else when hunting. An expensive fashion statement. Like Greenhead, I have carried a sidearm when fishing but only because a rifle is not practical.

Incidentally, when I lived and hunted in the States, I almost always carried my dad's S&W K-22 revolver when I was big game hunting - but in my day pack not on my side. I used it for popping grouse. If they didn't stand still long enough for me to get it out and shoot em, no big deal. One less bird I had to carry out and clean. And anybody that would use a .22 to finish off anything bigger than a bobcat in a trap is a heartless jerk. In most places it is illegal to use a .22 on deer no matter if it's the coup de grace or not. And for good reason.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

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