Hunting Weapons List- The Must Have Hunting Weapons for Serious Hunters
This section will give you helpful information on how to choose the weapon you plan to use hunting. This information intends to be helpful not all encompasing.
Bowhunting more than any other style of hunting can be more of an art than science. Each archer must adopt a shooting style to fit his/her shooting abilities and personality.
The selection of a bow and its accessories will be a personal and subjective choice.
Choosing a bow and its accessories is largely a matter of personal taste.
Many bowhunters eagerly make use of all the most modern compound bows and the latest accessories. While others prefer a more traditional approach and use long bows and use accessories sparingly. Either will give you years of enjoyment!
Though a hunter need not to buy the most expensive bow and it’s accessories it does make sense to invest in quality equipment.
If possible seek the advice of a hunter you respect or from a reputable source before purchasing your hunting equipment.
No matter what style of bow you choose compound or traditional you will need to determine three VERY important variables: eye dominance, length of draw and draw weight.
See our section on Choosing a Bow to see how to determine your length of draw and draw weight.
Bows are configured for right-handed and left handed people. Your choice should be determined by eye dominance not just by being left handed or right handed.
In most cases, hand and eye dominance match, but occasionally a right-handed person will have a dominant left eye or vice versa.
To figure out which of your eyes is dominant, point at a distant object with both eyes open. Now close your left eye, then your right.
When you look through your dominant eye, your finger will still appear to point at the object, but when you look through your subordinate eye, your finger will appear to shift to the side.
If your eye dominance matches your hand dominance, simply select a bow configured for your dominant hand. In the rare case, your hand and eye dominance are mismatched, it’s best to choose a bow based on your eye dominance rather than your hand dominance.
Though it may feel weird and cumbersome at first, in the long run, a person will become accustomed and become a better shooter. Research shows most successful archers sight with the dominant eye regardless of hand dominance.
Choosing the right rifle and the correct ammunition will make your hunt with a gun much more enjoyable, and can really boost your odds of being successful.
When selecting a rifle for hunting, you should consider how it fits, the sights, how heavy it is, plus its action and caliber.
A properly fitting gun will help you fire a more accurate shot. A stock that is too long for the shooter can get caught on your jacket, in your armpit.
If too short, the scope could strike a person in the eyebrow, giving them what’s known as “scope bite.”
Stock lengths can vary GREATLY with each model and manufacturer.
Downfalls of improper fit are the amount of drop you will encounter. While your cheek is pressed firmly against the stock of the rifle, your shooting eye should line up with the sites.
Too much drop will prevent you from placing your cheek against the stock, and the recoil could cause the stock to slam against your cheek. More than likely to leave a mark! A gunsmith can almost always change the length of the stock for you if needed.
If hunting in heavy brush where you must use short sights, buy a low power scope or a peep sight that has a large aperture. Either one can be aimed quickly and very accurately.
Variable power scopes within the ranges of 1.5x to 7x are ideal for this purpose. Open sights, which are standard on most rifles are difficult to line up quickly and more important accurately.
Another important consideration in choosing a rifle is weight.
- Unlike the ancient hunting weapons, most rifles used for hunting today weigh between six and nine pounds. Lighter guns are more comfortable to carry, and the heavier guns have less recoil.
- Heavier rifles are easier to hold steady and are better for stand hunting and long-range shots. It is recommended that you use a sling to tote your rifle when you are not hunting.
The action you choose will largely depend on your need for a quick second shot, accuracy plus your personal preferences.
Keep in mind not all calibers are available in each type of action. Actions can vary from the very reliable and sturdy single shots to fast shooting lever actions, pumps, and semi-automatics.
Most actions will function fine without oil for short periods of time. If you do a lot of shooting in very cold climates, you may want to consider using a graphite lubricant.
Important: Most states have laws that specify minimum calibers and cartridges for hunting Big Game animals. Therefore, it is important that you consider your state’s legal requirements when selecting weapons for hunting.
Shotguns and slugs are most commonly used for deer hunting in densely populated areas, many states don’t allow rifle hunting.
Some of the southern states permit you to use shotguns with buckshot only. The ideal shotgun for deer hunting is one that has a rifled barrel and special sights or a scope.
Rifled barrels shoot slugs more accurately than do smoothbores, but you have to make sure they are carefully patterned.
Rifling causes the slugs to spin and stabilize, allowing shots at deer up to 125 yards away. Slugs guns and ammunition are available in all the popular gauges with the 12 gauge being the most widely used.
Muzzleloaders or “smokepoles” as they are commonly called can only fire one shot so you better make it count. Due to technology over the last few years, they have become very accurate and reach out to around 125 yards.
Many states have seasons allowing you to extend your time in the field.
Hunters can choose between caplocks and flintlocks.
Many hunters prefer the flinlocks, though the caplocks are likely to misfire less often. They come in a variety of calibers the most common being .50 and .54, which are the most preferred by hunters today.
You have a choice of round balls, conical bullets, and pistol bullets. Check with your local state to see which are allowed for hunting.