You probably didn’t grow in a hunting family if you’re looking to learn about handgun hunting. Hunting is a life-changing experience and one you have to try. You don’t have to be a hunting family to enjoy this amazing experience. Starting your hunt with a handgun is thrilling, exciting, and dangerous at the same time. There is a lot to learn before you can head into the woods or mountains with your handgun and start hunting.

There is a lot of preparation for hunting even for experienced hunters.  You need to be properly outfitted, have the right weapon, ammo, optics, and stay safe. There are also several skills and tips to learn to become a successful hunter. Taking down a big buck requires more than just the right handgun and ammo. You need to learn basic hunting skills, have the right ammo, clothing, optics, and much more.

If you’re looking to start hunting with a handgun, there are few things you need to prepare. In this article, we help you start your first hunt with a handgun. Below is a simple guide to get you started hunting right away.

Beginners Guide for Handgun Hunting

Select a handgun

If you’re new to guns, selecting your first handgun is the first step. You want an easy and simple introduction to guns with a rational and non-political view.

Handguns are widely available in a variety of configurations to suit different needs. Since you’re looking for a hunting handgun, we can narrow down our picks to revolvers, single-shots, bolt-actions, and semi-automatics.  Each of these handgun designs come with pros and cons.

The revolvers come in single and double-action configurations. Single action revolvers require manual coking using a hammer while double-actions offer fire and cocking using a trigger. Double-action revolvers are faster but still majority of hunters prefer single-action revolvers.

We also have the semi-automatics that offer unparalleled fire by their design. They are versatile handguns but difficult to add optics. Semi-automatic pistols are easy to shoot without rest or stand. Next, we have the single- shots which are true to their name. These provide you with access to one round. You don’t want to miss your shot with this type of handgun. The best advantage of the single-shot design is the ease at which you can hand optics.

Lastly, we have the bolt actions which provide you with outside access to additional rounds. There are fewer handguns and calibers to choose from with bolt-action guns. They offer the same pros and cons as single-shot pistols.


Once you’ve selected a handgun, you need to choose the right type of ammunition. There are hunting regulations in different states and hunting zones on the minimum caliber and muzzle energy. You probably need to check this one out before choosing the ammunition. The last thing is buying ammunition that you might not use in the field.

A suitable caliber goes hand-in-hand with your handgun type. For example, the .357 Magnum is considered the minimum when pursuing deer. There are other larger and effective calibers like the .41 Rem. Mag when hunting larger games. However, these are better left for the experienced hunters and shooters. You probably want to start low and work your way up with the calibers. In most cases, hunting deer-sized games don’t require bigger calibers. If you need bigger calibers, then make sure you’re experienced and practice regularly.


With a handgun and ammunition ready, you want to select a good handgun optic. Sighting and targeting your game requires the best optics. There are several choices here depending on your range and game. Since you’re using a handgun, most of your hunting will be on mid-ranges. You need to choose a quality red dot. A red dot sight provides you with a point of aim. It is a non-magnifying reflector that forms an illuminated red dot on the target.

We also have holographic sights that use laser transmitted holograms of the reticle. The laser lights pass through a series of lenses and back to your eye. Holographic sights are more complicated and use a lot of energy as opposed to red dots. They project the reticles outwards towards the target making for faster target acquisition.

These two optics have their pros and cons and you need to select one that best works with your handgun.


Lastly, you need to pick a rangefinder which is a device that measures the distance between your eyes to the target. Rangefinders in hunting are commonly used in long-range hunting. They help measure the distance and allow for the projection of the bullet drop. When picking a rangefinder, make sure you know your hunting range and choose accordingly. The ideal hunting rangefinder needs to be durable fog proof and weather-resistant.

Final Verdict

In conclusion, preparing for your first handgun hunting trip is never easy. However, the experience of hunting makes it worth every preparation. Make sure you understand the necessary gun safety rules and regulations. Apart from a successful hunt, you need to be safe and keep others safe when handling a gun.

By Keit

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