Types of Hunting - Gun, Bow, Muzzleloader

Hunting is as much an art as it is a sport or a hobby. There are literally dozens of methods of hunting and just as many weapons available to those who embark on the adventure. The following information discusses some of these methods and the weapons that are used.

Hunting With Guns

Whether hunting big or small game, hunters will need to decide if they'll use a rifle, a shotgun, or even a handgun. The primary differences among shotguns, rifles, and handguns are the barrels and the ammunition that's used. Rifles have a grooved bore that causes the bullet to shoot straighter and travel faster. Shotguns aren't designed this way and are generally used for short range hunting. A 12 gauge shotgun is used by many hunters for smaller game such as squirrels and rabbits. Some hunters, however, think a 12 gauge is too much power and prefer to hunt small game with a 20 gauge. When using a handgun, hunters should choose a firearm that has an optical sight or adjustable iron sights. Using a handgun for hunting is often a good idea when the land is rugged and a hunter may need both hands for climbing or maneuvering through the terrain.

Hunting With Muzzleloaders

A muzzleloader is basically defined as any firearm that is only loaded through the muzzle. This type of hunting provides a challenge and a type of excitement that is different from using other kinds of guns. Being able to stalk and bugle in a large animal such as an elk or moose to close range requires great skill and planning. In most states there are specific times of the year that are set aside just for muzzleloader hunting. Those who use muzzleloaders need to remember to keep their firearm cleaned on a regular basis or the firearm won't work properly for very long. For those who are looking for a traditional, pioneer type of experience, hunting with a muzzleloader can be exciting.

Archery and Crossbows

There are as many types of bows to use for hunting as there are guns. These types of weapons generally fall into three categories. These include compound bows, longbows, and recurve bows. Deciding what pound bow to use is critical to a hunter's success and will depend on the game that's being hunted. For deer hunting a minimum of 40 pounds is usually necessary to obtain a clean kill. Using a 70 pound bow may be difficult to draw in cold weather under several layers of clothes. Hunting with bows is an art that requires skills that go beyond accurately using the bow. Getting close enough to prey to get a good shot means hindering an animal's sense of sight, hearing, and smell. This kind of hunting truly defines the term, "the thrill of the hunt."
No matter how an individual chooses to hunt, each method and type of weapon presents its own challenges and rewards. Bow hunting season is usually longer than what is designated for guns. Hunters need to check with officials in their individual state regarding laws and specific information.