Types Of Hunting
The many great things about hunting is not only the calmness of the wilderness and the rush of being so close to many wild animals. There are many different ways to hunt. I am going to classify the four types of hunting: shotgun, rifle, muzzleloader, and bow and arrow. The reason I am classifying this is because most people just think of hunting as a verb and don’t know that there are so many different ways to go about hunting. Hunting with a shotgun
First of all I am going to describe what exactly a shotgun is. A shotgun is designed to be fired from the shoulder. The shotgun fires a shell that holds numerous spherical pellets, also called shot when buying them from stores they are classified by the amount of shot that is inside the shotgun shell. There are many different sizes of shotguns that are available along with different types of shotguns such as: single-shot, pump-action, and semi-automatic. Hunting with a shotgun is most popular for bird hunting. When using a shotgun for hunting it is always fired from the shoulder. The reasons that shotguns are most popular for bird hunting is cause when a shotgun is fired there are hundreds of bb’s shot out at the target, making it much easier to hit a moving target. Shotguns are used in other ways too. They can be used in short-range for taking down big game if they are using slug ammunition, which gives the shotgun much more power at a short distance. The most popular bird that is hunted here in South Dakota is our state bird, the ring-necked pheasant along with doves and prairie grouse. The way that these birds are hunted is in a flushing manner.
Usually a group of hunters will line up at one end of the field, while the other half of the group line up at the other end of the field. One group is considered the “walkers” and the other group is the “blockers”. When you are hunting this way a trained hunting dog is usually very handy. If the dog is trained right, it will run around searching for the birds to try and “flush” the bird from where it’s hiding into the air where it can be safely shot. As the walkers make their way toward the blockers the birds tend to run away through the field before they fly. The main reason for the blockers is so that if the birds run all the way through the field they are forced to fly and aren’t able to just keep running. This type of hunting is very famous in South Dakota and is sometimes considered what South Dakota is known for. Hunting with a rifle
Rifle hunting is one of my favorite types of hunting. Mainly because you have to be really precise with your aiming and you are able to shoot at long distances. Depending on how powerful the rifle you are shooting is, you can shoot anywhere from 300 yards to about a mile. A rifle is made to be shot from the shoulder just like a shotgun only a rifle is usually equipped with some sort of aiming scope. If you’re shooting long distances your going to need to see where you’re shooting to make a clean and accurate shot on your target. There is a wide variety of game that is hunted with rifles. Anywhere from small game such as coyotes to elephants, which would be classified as big game. In South Dakota some of the animals that are hunted with rifle are: coyotes, deer, elk, antelope, and sometimes-even prairie dogs. The technique of hunting with a rifle is very strategic. Hunting deer in South Dakota is more popular than any other rifle hunting. When going out deer hunting you are usually sitting out in a camouflaged ground blind, which is usually a tent like structure only made for one or two people to sit in.
Once you are settled into your blind the wait is on. This can seem to be the boring part but it is honestly one of my favorite parts of rifle hunting. The cool air of the morning is refreshing, along with the relaxing sounds of nature all around you. Just as you are enjoying it the most you start to see some rustling in the bushes about 200 yards from where your sitting. The morning air is so calm it isn’t hard to notice that there is a big deer about to walk into the clearing. With your rifle aimed right behind its’ shoulder you gently squeeze the trigger. The loudness of the gun wakes everything up in the used to be calm nature, but only for a second. Then you get to go and check out your deer that you’ve been waiting months to take down. And that’s what hunting deer with a rifle is like. Rifle hunting is much different then the other types of hunting just cause everything is so calm and quite. Hunting with a muzzleloader
A muzzleloader is a gun somewhat similar to a rifle, yet much more complicated and difficult to hunt with. I found an article by Gary Hubbell that will help me get started in explaining what hunting with a muzzleloader is like. Muzzleloaders are the weapons that Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone carried afield with them during their bear hunts, Indian fights, and battles. Today there are two basic types of muzzleloaders used for hunting—primitive and in-line. Both are based upon the premise that the shooter pours powder down the end of the gun barrel, and then rams a slug or ball down on top of it to load the gun. This type of hunting is one of the two most difficult ways to hunt. The difficulty of hunting this way is not a bad thing. Most people like the difficulty just to make the rush of the hunt that much more intense. As you pull the trigger on your muzzleloader the ignition is not instantaneous like shooting a shotgun or a rifle. You have to hold steady as you pull the trigger for about a second or more while an explosion takes place, which is the gunpowder igniting. This is where most the errors occur.
Most people aren’t accustomed to staying dead still while an explosion and an eruption of white smoke happens before your eyes. Another obstacle that muzzleloader users have to overcome is that the black powder that you pour down your barrel can only be exposed for about a minute or two because if the powder accumulates even a little moisture, when you pull the trigger it won’t be able to ignite and won’t fire. Making the rush of seeing the animal you want to kill that much more frantic. Having to load your rifle in a quick efficient manner, and then firing the single shot you have as accurate as possible. Each year more and more hunters are discovering this type of hunting. Hunting with bow and arrow
Bow hunting is definitely the most humane type of hunting. It puts the hunter and the hunted on more equal grounds than hunting with a rifle or shotgun. Bow hunting is one of the oldest forms of hunting known to man. Arrows that were discovered in Africa were dated back before 25,000 BC. Indians created the bow and arrow around 18,000 BC. for hunting and protection purposes. The compound bow is the more modern type of bow. Much more energy efficient then the old bows that the Indians used, giving the compound bows much more power. There are different types of arrows for the size of animal you are hunting. The smaller the animal, the smaller the arrowhead will be. Bow hunting is the most adrenaline filled ways of hunting. When bow hunting you have to get very close to the animal you are after which means the techniques have to be executed almost perfectly to have a successful bow hunt. When bow hunting, much like rifle and muzzleloader hunting you will either be sitting in a blind on the ground or in a tree stand. A tree stand is normally a single seat set up towards the middle of a tree. In order to get a clean accurate shot with a bow you have to be really patient and quite. The only good and clean shot with a bow is from 30-50 yards from where you are sitting. Which means the calm and quietness of everything you do during your hunt is key. There are a lot of things in the world that will give you a good rush but, until you have been 10 yards from a group of deer, elk, or moose there is nothing quite like that kind of rush. All four ways of hunting have their own rush and it’s often not considered when someone hasn’t experienced one of these types of hunting. If you are a hunter and haven’t tried one of these exciting ways to hunt, it wouldn’t be a waste of time to try a different way. Learning new ways to hunt and experience the outdoors will always be something that I will have included in my life and it should be included in yours too. So, take the time to learn and experience a different way to hunt, or just start hunting if you haven’t tried it, and be safe.
“Muzzleloader Hunting: Beginners Guide.” Big Game Hunt. Big Game Hunt, 15 March 2003. Web. 8 November 2013. “The Facts About Hunting.” Friends of Animals And Their Benefits. Friends of Animals And Their Benefits, Web. 8 November 2013 “Deer Hunting With A Muzzleloader.” Hungry For Hunting, Hungry For Hunting, Web. 8 November 2013