I have been reading some discussions on the Internet regarding carrying a self-defense pistol while hunting. Various posters—including some well-known people in the industry—have opined that it makes just as much sense to carry while hunting as it does when going to the mall. I pretty much carry all the time, partly because of the need to be ready to defend myself from anything from a grizzly bear to a whacked-out druggie (Yes, even here in Wyoming we have a few of those), and partly because I simply feel more comfortable with a gun nearby. But when I am hunting I already have a gun more powerful than any handgun I own, so why the redundancy?
Those who promote the notion that a hunter should pack a self-defense pistol, along with two or three magazines holding the better part of a box of ammo cite the possibility of the rifle (or dedicated hunting handgun) may fail or be rendered useless in some drawn-out firefight. Anything is possible, I guess, but should we also pack a survival suit in the event that someone decides to drop a nuke on our hunting area? Yes, I agree that we should always be as prepared as possible, but I doubt that most of us—including these posters—are capable of being as battle ready as a high-speed, low-drag SEAL 24/7.
Perhaps this argument is a function of perspective. Maybe the ones promoting going afield in full combat gear hunt in areas near to urban areas with a high probability of crossing a criminal element, or, perhaps along our southern border where there really is a possibility of running into armed cartel thugs. I don’t hunt in those areas and have no plans do so. If I lived near one of those areas, I’d likely move or at least find a less hazardous place to hunt.Still, if that’s one’s bag, who am I to tell them that it’s wrong to do so. If it fills you with joy to head into the woods dressed for a tactical strike on a fortress, please be my guest. Just don’t tell me I am naïve if I don’t agree to do the same. And if you are right, and I get snuffed in the backcountry, well, I can’t think of a better place to go to my maker.