What Rifle Should You Bring On A Western Big Game Hunt?
Each hunting season, we have the great opportunity of hosting many hunters on their first western big game hunt. But whether it’s their first time hunting out west or not, there are still plenty of pre-trip questions to answer. One common question we hear is regarding what rifle to bring on a big game hunt.
Our big game hunting guides have the opportunity to see a lot of animals hit the ground each year. We’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. But most of those ugly situations had more to do with shot placement than anything else to do with the caliber of rifle.
Any hunter who has been around the block more than a few times can tell you that countless variables come into play when discussing weapon choice. But we like to keep the conversation as basic as possible. Bring the rifle that you feel the most comfortable using. In the moment of truth, shot placement becomes far more important than most other factors.
Sure, you need to select a rifle and a round that’s appropriate for the game you’re hunting. That should go without saying. But beyond an adequate setup, it’s all about shooting with the rifle, the optics, and the bullets that make you feel most confident. Your practice and your ability to make a clean shot is by far the greatest variable within your control.
We also like to emphasize the importance of taking ethical shots in the field. When the adrenaline is rushing, the excitement can affect your better judgment. Our guides will do their best to calmly talk you through the situation. In most cases, he will make sure you’re on the right animal and that you have an unobstructed shot. The best thing you can do is to go through your shooting routine and make sure you’re doing it just like you’ve always practiced!
All that to say, we would recommend spending less time sorting through the minutia of details surrounding different rounds and ballistics, and spend more time practicing with the setup you intend to use. Decide on something you’re confident in, and then practice, practice, practice. Don’t forget to step away from the bench rest and practice while wearing your hunting gear!
If you have questions leading up to your hunt this year, please feel free to contact us. If you’d like to know more about guided hunts here at SNS Outfitter and Guides, please explore the rest of our website at HuntWyo.com or you may request a free brochure!