The term hunting gear often means different things to different people. The simple truth is that the phrase “hunting gear” is extremely broad covering a wide range of products from clothing to weapons and just about everything in between. Any product that an individual uses in the pursuit of hunting is technically hunting gear regardless of how small or seemingly unimportant that product may be.
In this article we will take a look at some of the various types of hunting gear and their use and importance to hunters.
Hunting Gear Resources
Many people consider air rifles to be little more than a toy or something to start their child out target practicing with before graduating to a “real gun.” However, some air guns can be quite powerful and are actually weapons that should be treated as dangerous especially in the hands of someone who has little or no training in handling one.
While air guns are more often than not used for target practice and to teach younger children about gun safety Air guns are sometimes used for hunting weapons mostly by teens and young adults for hunting varmints and small game such as birds, mice, rats, squirrels and other such animals. Air guns come in several different types including spring, gas piston, precharged pneumatic, variable pump and CO2. You should learn something about each type of air gun and try out a few different types before purchasing one for your self or your child. Air guns are close range weapons usually not accurate at distances beyond 150 or 200 yards.
Air rifles are also quiet and have little or no recoil. While not all states allow hunting with air guns, but most states do. The best caliber air guns for hunting are .177 or .22
If you are planning on using an air rifle for hunting small game, then take the time to choose a high quality air rifle and do practice shooting it so you get the feel of it and know what distance you can shoot from and still be accurate. Remember that most air rifles are not as powerful as regular hunting guns and you want to be able to take down that animal you are hunting as humanely as possible.
Many avid hunters enjoy the challenge of hunting using different weapons for different game including using rifles, hand guns, bow and arrows and even sling shots.
While a sling shot may appear to be a strange choice for a hunter, it actually is the best weapon to have in a survival situation. A sling shot can easily be carried in the back pocket when hiking and in an emergency situation you may be able to make a sling shot out of material at hand.
Sling shots are best used for hunting small game such as birds, ducks, geese, squirrels and rabbits. Due to their larger head size rabbits are the easy game to hunt with a sling shot. However, those with a good eye and steady hand can hunt smaller game successfully.
Using a sling shot accurately takes a good deal of skill and practice so it is advisable to practice a good deal before going hunting with a sling shot in order to make a humane kill.
A sling shot range is extremely limited requiring you to be close to your target. However, since sling shots are silent weapons it is fairly easy to get close to the game you are hunting.
Sling shots come in a few different styles and may be made from different materials. Shot for sling shots are normally steel, ceramic clay or glass with steel being the most effective. You can also purchase sling shot bands to replace the bands on your sling shot should they become worn or break.
Hunting Targets and their accessories offer hunters a way to practice their accuracy and to site their weapons. Targets come in various sizes and shapes and also use a number of accessories for hanging those targets so practicing can be more realistic. There are paper, metal, foam and even straw targets available and the type of target used will depend upon the type of weapon you will be practicing with.
Many targets actually display animals such as foam deer for archery practice and paper deer, turkey, prairie dogs and squirrels for rifle hunting.
While most hunters have a favorite target it is best for hunters to mix up their targets in order to improve their accuracy. When you practice your shooting using the same target every time your brain gets distracted when your introduce a new target even if that target is real game. By switching targets during shooting practice you allow your brain to be able to adjust to different targets and backgrounds and reduce the distraction resulting in more accurate shooting.
You may also want to try practicing shooting at targets at different heights and different distance to improve your accuracy as well.
Most hunters know how vitally important gun safety is. Each year you hear or read about both children and adults who have been seriously injured or killed by improperly secured guns and ammo. Gun safety is an important aspect of owning a gun and should be taken seriously.
New gun owners should avail themselves of gun safety classes and learn how to properly load, unload, and clean your gun as well as the proper way of transporting and carrying a gun when hunting.
In addition, learning how to properly store your guns and ammo to keep them out of the reach of unauthorized persons is the best and easiest way to protect your family and friends. Making sure that you store your gun and ammo separately in locked containers is one of the easiest and most effective ways to practice gun safety when your gun is not in use.
Some gun storage containers come with a combination lock, others with pad locks and keys and still others you will need to purchase your own pad lock for. As any gun owner knows you should always empty your gun prior to storing your gun and ammo. Never store a loaded gun since loaded guns always pose a danger.
Eye Wear and Hearing Protection
Eye wear and hearing protection is important to hunters since they are designed to help prevent damage to their sight and hearing while hunting.
Protective eye wear for hunters consists of glasses or goggles that serves to protect your eyes from powder blow back, spent cartridges, branches and twigs when walking through the woods, dust and the glare of the sun. Good eye wear may also help hunters to see better as they may make for more contrast between the target and the background.
Hearing protection for hunters helps to reduce the sound from a gun’s retort helping to prevent hearing damage especially in avid hunters who do a lot of shooting both at targets and game. Loud noises close to the ear can be extremely damaging to your hearing and hunting ear muffs help to muffle the noise from the gun protecting your hearing from damage.
You can purchase hunting eye wear and hearing protection separately or in kits with the two combined. Some eye wear kits come with several interchangeable lenses so that you can use different lenses suitable for protecting your eyes in different situations.
Gun Accessories Maintenance and Storage
As every avid hunter knows the sheer variety and number of maintenance and storage products for gun accessories can sometimes be overwhelming. There are various cleaning products and oils available to keep your weapon clean and functioning its very best. There are also storage products such as pouches, cases and even safes that are specially designed to store your gun accessories in to keep them safe and prevent them from being damaged. Most hunters buy the very best gun accessories they can afford so having the very best maintenance and storage equipment possible will help you keep those accessories in the best working order for as long as possible. Here is a general list of some of the most common maintenance and storage products available for hunters.
When shopping for hunting gear it is always wise to make a list of gear you eventually would like to purchase and the amount you can afford to pay for each piece of equipment then search for the best piece of hunting gear that meets your needs. Remember that purchasing high quality hunting gear may cost a bit more than cheaper offerings, but are likely to perform better and last longer making them a better value over time.