Know the Law before You Shoot a Bullet

By: rhusain
Before a hunter go for hunting, he must decide on which gun which he has to choose. There are some ideas on which gun that you can use for your hunting trip.

I like the open hunting sights which are standard on most guns. Such sights are easily seen under most hunting conditions and are accurate enough for hunting within the base range of most deer guns. These coarse sights permit errors in sighting that are multiplied as the range increases and a more accurate sight should be used if most of the deer will be seen at the longer ranges.

The aperture-type of sight is excellent, but the hunter should use the largest aperture while in the woods, in order to see his target in the shortest possible time. Telescope sights are probably the most accurate, but, for deer hunting, the low power and wide field of view features should be employed. When using one of these sights which give more than four-power magnification, it is difficult to see and keep the sights on a running deer, especially in heavy cover. Local laws will restrict the deer hunter's choice of caliber in some areas. The use of rifles is prohibited in Massachusetts and New Jersey, and other states prohibit rifle calibers that are not considered powerful enough to kill deer under the hunting conditions of those states.

The Maine Fish and Game Commission credits the hunter with enough intelligence to use a gun which is suited to the game he hunts. While this results in the loss of some game that is wounded by under-gunned hunters, the loss is negligible when compared to that which is caused by poor marksmanship of men who are adequately armed. The wounding of men by stray bullets from the high-powered guns, the principle objection to the use of such arms, has not become a serious problem in Maine up to the present time.

The hunter who decides that a shotgun is the weapon of his choice should remember that this is definitely a short-range gun. The use of one of the several sizes of buckshot compensates for the lack of accurate sights on one of these guns. It is sometimes difficult to follow a blood trail when a deer is wounded by these shot as the small punctures do not permit free external bleeding. The use of the round ball will correct this condition, but the high trajectory and poor accuracy of this load decreases the chances of a killing hit. The rifled slug is a great improvement over the round ball, but for the utmost satisfaction while using this load, the gun should be equipped with a rear sight. The killing range is thus extended and a rear sight will give the hunter a better chance to use the increased range. All of these deer loads are deadly within their range and even smaller shot will kill deer at the shorter ranges, but the use of anything smaller than buckshot should be reserved for game smaller than deer. I have never made it a practice to hunt deer with a shotgun but I have killed quite a few, and failed to kill others, with this type of gun. As a young man, I had a double-barreled gun with which I was quite familiar.

Later I acquired a single-shot, sixteen-gauge, full-choke which forced me to improve my shooting in order to bag game. I have shot a large number of various species with this gun, including five or six deer. The only deer I failed to kill was one I shot at with the wrong load. This does not mean that the gun is a good deer gun, for I never attempted any shot which I was not sure would kill the animal.

The hunter who decides that a shotgun is the weapon of his choice should remember that this is definitely a short-range gun. The use of one of the several sizes of buckshot compensates for the lack of accurate sights on one of these guns. It is sometimes difficult to follow a blood trail when a deer is wounded by these shot as the small punctures do not permit free external bleeding.
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