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by cottonstalk     Last updated: 2009-01-25 21:57:18

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I started with a 480 Raging Bull and loaded and shot hundreds of rounds.I switched two more times before the season started.Thankfully I had plenty of time when I decided to work up a load and get comfortable with it.I chose the Ruger Redhawk in 44 mag.My second step was to find a load that shot well.

Here is where my next difficult decision came.Jacketed or not.And there are multiples of each in style and grains.I put it to this board and read where others had and better than half voiced the choice of Nosler partitions.I began shooting for form and practice with some inexpensive SWCs until I was consistent.I had some pit falls along the way but continued to trudge forward.After I had what I felt was huntable results I started with the Noslers and got a load that shot consistent 2 1/2-3 1/2" at 50 yards.Then I was ready.

The next step was teaching myself to hunt different.No more reach out there and pop them hunting.After several stand repositionings I came up with a good set up.I missed on my first attempt at a deer but my second piled up a young doe.That point and time helped my confidence level alot.As the year progressed every chance I got I looked down the barrel,even if not in range,at deer.I found out quickly that holding a handgun steady is alot tougher than a long gun.

I had a good hunt mid season and missed a very nice drop tine buck,and my confidence fell.I put it to the board and they helped me dust myself off and back up on the horse.I continued to faithfully carry my handgun,and I got another shot at a large doe.Bang...flop.I was excited.I had some mishaps towards the end of the season,but that was okay.

What I learned as a "newbie" was this,1.Make the commitment 2.Pick a caliber and stick with it. 3.Find a load that suits you,the handgun,and the game you pursue. 4.Practice,practice,practice to the point where when you miss you know it wasn't the equipment you chose. 5.Keep shooting!Take game!I know some people think taking does is not macho but it will build confidence,and confidence will make you a better hunter.

Maybe this article will help someone new along this same journey.I know the experience of others has saved me valuable time and money.Having folks like those on this board to help you doesn't hurt either.Thank you Gary for getting it started,and thanks to all the knowledgable gun cranks and hunters who helped me in my pursuit.Larry


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Recent Comments:

Poster: racksmasher    Date: 2010-09-04    Top

Thank you for the advice, as a deer hunter I made the commitment to hunt with handguns only, after years of rifle and shotgun hunting, I found it to easy,hunting should be a challange, it's much more rewarding hunting with 6 shooters and T/C stuff.
Poster: Vance in AK.    Date: 2010-02-08   Top

Good basic plan for all of us! Thanks for the article & reminder of the basics.
Poster: Old Mud Puppy    Date: 2009-10-21    Top

Thanks for the advice and encouragement. I am building my rig for next season and plan to hunt only with a handgun in 2010. Articles like this are why I joined this forum. Much appreciated. Glenn
Poster: KRal    Date: 2009-01-26   Top

Great points, cottonstalk...I think one of the main down falls of beginner hunters is, not practicing enough. Shooting a handgun is a never ending practice session. Good article!!




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