Some hunters can’t decide whether to bring a shotgun for birds or a large caliber centerfire for large game when they enter land which has both types of animals in abundance. The solution may be to simply carry both. The versatility afforded by more than one type of weapon removes any limitation on what kind of game one can hunt and often makes the hunt a lot more fun.
Before delving into the practical reasons for carrying multiple weapons while hunting, it's essential to emphasize the importance of adhering to local hunting regulations. Different properties and wildlife management areas (WMAs) may have specific weapon restrictions, which hunters must respect. Being aware of these regulations is the first step towards lawful and ethical hunting practices.
In addition, hunting seasons are not uniform throughout the year. Certain regions may have specific restrictions, such as primitive hunting seasons when hunters are limited to black powder firearms and bows, which makes it important to do one’s research to adhere to seasonal regulations and weapon limitations.
Tailoring to Specific Game
One of the primary justifications for carrying multiple weapons is to match the firearm to the specific game being pursued. Different animals have varying sizes, behaviors, and vulnerabilities, and it is crucial to select the appropriate weapon for a humane and ethical hunt.
For example, some hunting areas may permit hunting squirrels and wild hogs simultaneously. In such cases, using a light rimfire like a .22 caliber rifle for squirrels and a more powerful weapon such as a .308 for wild hogs is both practical and responsible. Attempting to use a single weapon for both targets could lead to less effective hunting and unnecessary harm to the animals.
Versatility and Adaptability
One of the most significant advantages of carrying multiple weapons is the ability to adapt to various hunting scenarios. For instance, a hunter can equip a rifle with a long-range scope like the Presidio 3-18x50 and a canted red dot sight like the long-lasting Mini Shot M3 Solar, allowing them to seamlessly transition between short-range and long-range shots. Such adaptability enhances the hunter's ability to make precise and humane kills.
At the tail end of a season, those who enjoy the challenge of bow hunting but haven’t yet been fortunate to bag a single animal all season may opt to bring a rifle along with their bow in order to both ensure a kill and extend their range.
Hunting often takes place in remote areas, far from immediate assistance. Therefore, carrying a backup weapon is a safety measure that can be a true lifesaver. In some places, venomous snakes and charging hogs are a genuine threat. Carrying a sidearm like a pistol provides a quick and efficient means of defense, ensuring the safety of the hunter or their companions. It is faster and easier to draw and fire one’s semi-automatic sidearm on a hissing rattlesnake or a raging feral pig at close range than it would be to shoulder, aim, and fire a bolt action rifle or pump action shotgun.
The decision to carry multiple weapons while hunting is a practical choice that allows hunters to match their firearms to specific game, adapt to seasonal variations, and ensure their safety and success in the field. Responsible hunters should always be knowledgeable about local regulations, choose their weapons wisely, and prioritize safety while pursuing their passion for hunting.