How to Carry a Rifle While Hunting
Choosing the proper carrying position is important when hunting. In addition to safety, choosing a correct carrying position can also help improve your visibility of the target. Regardless of the carrying position you choose, it is important to maintain safe gun handling practices, such as unloading your firearms after each use, reloading them after each shot, and turning on and off the safety.
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When you have a hunting rifle, it is essential to know how to carry it. A proper rifle-carrying technique can prevent injuries and ensure your safety. Whether you are hunting solo or with other people, you should practice a few tips to stay safe.
First, you should learn the proper way to load your firearm. Make sure that all ammunition has been checked and stored properly. Before taking your rifle out of the gun case, it is important that the barrel is pointed in a safe direction. It is also crucial that you do not load it when you are not hunting. If you do, you may cause damage to your rifle.
Next, you should choose a carrying position that is suitable for you and the terrain you are hunting in. Some options include the shoulder carry, the elbow carry, and the trail carry. Although some hunters find the shoulder carry to be the most convenient, it is not the safest. You should never hold the rifle over your shoulder while someone is on your side. However, it is a good option for fatigued hunters.
One of the most common mistakes hunters make is improperly carrying their firearms. This can lead to serious injury. For example, a hunter can accidentally pull the trigger or use the wrong ammunition, which can cause significant damage to the gun. The best way to avoid this mistake is to be well-prepared before heading out on a hunt. Read your hunting guidebook and ammunition box, as well as the firearm’s manual.
Once you’ve chosen a carry position, you’ll need to secure your rifle. You can do this with a sling or backpack. Try to minimize wind exposure by using an independent front and rear support. These can be a sturdy natural rest, a short 6-to-12-inch bipod, or a soft malleable object.
Finally, you will need to choose a carrying position that gives you the most control when shooting. Kneeling is the next best choice. As long as you can keep your back straight and your arms relaxed, you should be fine. Keeping your hands off the trigger is particularly important, and a rolled-up jacket can add a bit of cushion.
Always check your gun before and after your hunt, and do not let other hunters handle it. Make sure to unload it when you are done, and discard any damaged or empty ammunition.
Finally, make sure that you have a good map. If you are going to be hunting on private land, make sure to obtain written permission from the landowner. Even if the property is public, there might be a County ordinance regulating the discharge of firearms.