The following is a list of the recommended ways to carry your weapon (in these cases a long gun, such as rifle or shotgun) — while hunting.
On the Shoulder
Your gun is carried in a relaxed position on your shoulder. It’s best to use this position when other hunters are in front or walking by your side.
In the Crook of Your Elbow
This position is excellent when others are walking behind you or on your opposite side.
Cradling Your Weapon in Your Arm
(This looks as if you are carrying a baby in one arm.) This position is valuable when others are in front and in back of you. Your gun can also be cradled in this way when someone is walking on your side — opposite of the weapon.
However, never use this position if others are walking on both sides of you.
Carrying Your Weapon Two-Handed in Front of Yourself
This is a good way to carry your gun when others are in front or behind you. This position should never be used when other hunters are walking on both sides of you, but may be used when the gun is pointed away from a person walking on your opposite side.
The Sling Position
(The gun is carried via a strap, on your back shoulder.) This is a great way to carry your weapon while hiking to-and-from your hunting area. Keep the barrel pointed up or even pointed down.
Carrying Your Gun in One Hand
(The weapon is carried with your hand on the for-end with the muzzle pointing forward.) This position is a good way to carry a weapon when others are behind you and/or walking by your side(s).
Two Other Situations
1) When climbing, always unload your weapon and use the sling carry!
2) When you need to lift your gun to your position in a tree, tripod or elevated stand, unload the weapon and use a “hand line.” The gun is lifted by cord. rope, etc., up to your position.
Always remember to make your weapon safe by sight, with such things as opening the bolt (on bolt action rifles), opening the lever (on lever action rifles), or by breaking open your double or single barrel shotgun.
Do NOT depend on the safety doing its job. Old timers can tell of many near misses or fatal accidents caused by “empty” guns.
Remember that “safety” is the most important thing you take with you on any hunting expedition!
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