6 types of Field Carries
Any time you take a firearm afield, it should be carried in one of six positions. Safe muzzle control governs the appropriate carrying position to use in any given situation.
- Keep muzzle pointed in a safe direction
- Keep fingers outside trigger guard
- Ensure the safety is on
A good position to use when standing point or waiting for your hunting companions to approach. Safe to use when your partners are ahead or behind you, never on the side where the muzzle is pointed.
This is the most hazardous field carry because this method gives us the least control over the weapon if we fall. The shoulder carry is best used when a hunter is walking alone. Do not use this carry if someone is behind you or if you are walking through difficult terrain.
It is your responsibility to develop and practice safe habits so that you are comfortable and safe with other hunters. Insist that your companions do the same or refuse to hunt with them.
If a hunting party is traveling in single file, only the lead person should use the trail carry. This one-handed carry provides the least control in the event of a fall or other problems. Never use this carry if someone is walking ahead of you.
Big game hunters find a sling very helpful to carry and shoot a firearm accurately from the off-hand position. Sling carry is not recommended in difficult terrain. On such occasions, the rifle should be held in your hands for complete muzzle control.
A safe method when walking in a field or through grassland. Safe to use when others are behind or to your side, but not when they are in front of you.
The shooter has good muzzle control with this carry, and is ready to shoulder the firearm quickly. This is an excellent carry for working upland bird cover. It is also one of the safest ways to carry a firearm. Never use it when someone is on the same side that the muzzle is pointed.