As evidenced by my farmers tan, I spend a lot of time outdoors at my deer leases, hunting in remote locations, fishing all over the nation, and participating in just about anything that can get me outdoors. To say I prefer being outdoors is an understatement and as such I like to feel prepared, safe and to know I can take care of myself if danger presents itself. I’m not going to lie, there are times where I look over my shoulder in those remote off-the-beaten-path locations and wonder what’s around me. For that reason, I generally either carry a handgun or have one nearby in the event I begin to feel worried or uncomfortable.
The feeling of a firearm on my hip as I hike on a path where I know I should be alone is comforting. Having it on-hand reassures me in case I need to defend against a pesky rattlesnake, hog or other threatening varmint. I spend a lot of time in remote locations, sometimes near and along the Rio Grande River where all sorts of hazards might pop up. Sure, the odds are low in some cases that I would encounter a situation, but I’d rather be comfortable knowing I’m prepared.
One of the reasons I feel confident while carrying is the amount of time I have spent at the range shooting targets and familiarizing myself with my firearm. With any firearm, you want to be acclimated and proficient with it before carrying it for your personal protection. In addition, you want to make sure that you are fully aware of the laws and ordinances regarding firearms possession and use (including applicable hunting laws and regulations) relative to your location and anywhere you intend to travel. For example, in some cases, you may find that carry restrictions within state forests may vary depending on where you are in the country.
For those times when I may have the chance to hunt a hog, scare off or eliminate a fawn-killing coyote or practice at the range, if my gun is at home and not in my side by side or vehicle, I would simply be unprepared. Carrying any firearm comes with a great responsibility and the ability to exercise good judgement. All of which I feel come with time and practice. I respect the fact that carrying a handgun, or any gun is not for everyone, but for myself, it gives me a great sense of comfort when I’m in the field to know it’s either on my hip or nearby. Be safe and be prepared out there folks.
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