Hunters, typically, don’t start hunting with elk, deer, pronghorn, or moose, but with rabbits, red squirrels, grouse, doves, or even quail. The adventure usually begins with a .22 long rifle, a 20-gauge, single-shot shotgun, or something similar. Small game is a great option to train a novice hunter with respect to ethical hunting, and picking the right gun for small game hunting is a critical aspect of the whole process.
A likely option for a newbie could be a .22, a .17, or maybe a 20-gauge or .410 shotgun. Pistols or revolvers in .22 long rifle are perfect for experienced small game hunters, but young people should begin hunting with a long gun.
Which Type of Gun is best for Small Game?
In case of big game, there are specific regulations, specific to the calibers that can be used to hunt a moose, deer, pronghorn, or elk. Ethically, the general rule requires to deliver energy of 1000 foot-pounds when the bullet hits the animal. However, there are no such regulations pertaining to calibers or any specific ethical considerations on the energy to be delivered when it is about small game, except that the hunter should be close enough to take a shot which could deliver fatal force.
For small game, the idealguns to considerincludehandguns, shotguns, and small-caliber rifles. In the history of hunting small game by humans, it was onlylatelythatgunsreplaced the slingshot, sling,orthebowandarrow as the primary tool forsmall gamehunting.
Discussed below are the types of gun that are known to have worked in harvesting small animals and birds.
When it comes to small game hunting, a shotgun can prove remarkably advantageous. Small game with heavy cover is generally tough to hit. A shotgun with the right pack of shots will take down quickly moving squirrels on high branches, cottontails moving in a zigzag manner in brush, and raccoons traced in the flickering light during the night.
A shotgun is dependable, perfect for distances of up to 40 yards, and is capable of delivering the firepower to hunt down small game of any size. While a 12-gauge shotgun may deliver more than the required firepower for small game, a .410 or 20-gauge is usually perfect.
The only downside of using a shotgun is that at times, the small game gets peppered with bullets. Modern steel shot can break your tooth while you enjoy having a harvested goose or wild duck in dinner & Lead in the bullet if ingested can cause Poisoning.
When it is about small game hunting, a handgun is not the weapon of choice for every hunter out there. However, a .22 pistol or revolver can help you a lot when you are out in the wood. It is harder to take down a squirrel using a .22 handgun. Plus, it requires some patience, a very steady hand, and a good rest to take down one. Semi-automatic guns are a great match for small game hunting, & it would be difficult for you to find a better .22 caliber handgun than a bull-nosed, heavy-barreled Ruger target pistol. It is precise and easy to aim, with a near perfect action.
Small Caliber Rifles
The .22 rifle, the .17 HMR, and the .204 centerfire are perfect options for greater shooting distances usually found on foothills, the prairie, the Rockies, and mountains of the Midwest. Let's have a closer look at each of these options since this is one platform that the majority of small game hunters pick while hunting squirrels, rabbits, or raccoons. These are also a popular choice for small game that you usually don’t consume, such as coyote or fox.
Final WordsDepending on your hunting experience level and personal preferences, you can pick either a shot gun, a small-caliber rifle, or a small-caliber handgun for rabbit hunting. We hope the discussion above will help you choose the right type of gun to make your next small game hunting expedition a roaring success.
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