What Should You Check Before Choosing a Firearm for Hunting

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February 28, 2022 / Comments (0)

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What should you check before choosing a firearm for hunting? This is the question on every aspiring hunter’s mind. This comprehensive breakdown should help you start hunting the right way if you are an aspiring hunter.

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What Should You Check Before Choosing a Firearm for Hunting: Everything You Need to Know

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State Law

In case you don’t already know, you cannot hunt anywhere with any kind of firearm or ammunition. For this reason, it is paramount to check the state’s Fish and Game hunting regulations before starting on game hunting.

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While at it, be sure to confirm the allowed calibers, cartridges, specific firearms, as well as the animals you can hunt on the field you’ll be on.

Since not abiding by your state’s regulations is punishable by law, no amount of sweet talk will help when you don’t do proper fact-checking into your state’s regulations.

Your Hunting Education

Next on our list of what you should check before choosing a firearm is your education as a hunter. Most states require hunters to undertake hunter’s education before obtaining a hunter’s license. Therefore, it is vital to familiarize yourself with the state’s requirements to see if you need to get a hunter’s education before venturing into hunting.

Luckily, the courses are easily available on websites like Hunter-ed. Here the classes are affordable, highly informative, and applicable in most states. With these, you will build your hunting and firearm handling skills.

Besides learning, this also offers an opportunity for you to gauge whether hunting is for you. That way, you will not set back your finances buying ammo, hunting firearms among other hunting gear.

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Firearm Features

Sight Alignment

Hunter holding a rifle | What Should You Check Before Choosing a Firearm for Hunting

Of course, sight alignment has to be on our list of what should you check before choosing a firearm for hunting. Sight alignment refers to lining up your rifle’s front and rear sights for an accurate sight picture.

How to ensure your sights and target are perfectly aligned?

  • Line up your target with the bead or blade on the front sight within the rear sight’s notch for open sights.
  • If your rifle has an aperture sight, consider lining up your target such that the front sight stays within the rear peephole.
  • Similarly, line up our target with the sight crosshairs when using a telescopic sight with a crosshair reticle.
  • On the other hand, line up your target with the sight dot when using a telescopic sight with a dot reticle. Keep in mind that the dot must always be centered.

Accuracy Limit

Next on our what should you check before choosing a firearm for hunting is the accuracy limit. Before settling for a hunting firearm, consider taking it to the range for practice to determine its accuracy before you go hunting.

This way, you will be aware of your accuracy limit and plan your shots accordingly. To do this,

  • Pattern your shotgun and practice hitting gong targets at distances you’d expect the game to be in the field. This helps cultivate proficiency with your chosen shotgun for clean, ethical, and quick killing; an eight-inch paper plate target will be ideal for establishing accuracy when deer hunt for rifles. It is roughly the same size as a deer’s vital area.

Practicing with a hunting rifle enables you to sharpen your accuracy at distances and positions you’ll likely find yourself when in the field. This way, you can limit your shots to the most accurate range.

Besides practicing, mastering your dominant eye also greatly influences accuracy. Though your dominant eye is usually the same as your dominant hand, it’s not always the case. You need to actively

Tip:

  • Great vision is vital for exceptional and safe shooting during hunting. Have regular eye checkups and invest in high-quality protective gear.

Caliber

Gunman with smoking shotgun after a shot | What Should You Check Before Choosing a Firearm for Hunting

There are several reasons why caliber is what you should check before choosing a firearm for hunting:

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First, it is to ensure that your hunting rifle meets all the minimum legal requirements by the state as far as the gauge, caliber, or energy produced by a given projectile is concerned.

Secondly, checking your rifle’s chambering guarantees that you have a caliber powerful enough to put down the game you will be hunting effectively and quickly.

Thirdly, your rifle’s caliber dictates the amount of recoil you will be dealing with. Here, the recommended recoil for a hunting rifle is usually moderate as it is easy to use in practice and fire proficiently.

Note:

  • The ammunition you go for majorly depends on the game you plan on hunting. Luckily, most manufacturers recommend specific ammo for various species.
  • Ensure you have the proper ammo and choke combination when hunting with a shotgun. Needless to say, ensure it fits properly.

Here’s an infographic guide that you can use. Feel free to download, save and share it with your loved ones:
What Should You Check Before Choosing a Firearm for Hunting

There you have it, gun lovers. With this list, you do not have to stress about the question – of what should you check before choosing a firearm for hunting. Aside from the points herein, other factors are a matter of personal preference and skill level.

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