America’s original extreme sport: hunting

One of my goals for 2014 is to get more involved in hunting. I went on my first pheasant hunt last year and had a properly awesome time. I realized that there are lot of cross-training opportunities in tactical shooting and hunting; and I started talking to Jordan from Run 2 Gun about the fitness opportunities in hunting as well. That’s when I realized that hunting really is the original extreme sport. While we’ve mitigated some of the danger that hunting used to involve, it’s the only sport that you can legally participate in that allows you to test your marksmanship skills with blood on the line.

caleb with pheasants

That’s why one of the big goals I have for 2014 is to expand the blog’s coverage of hunting – but not “sit in a tree stand and whisper” hunting but more of the aforementioned Run2Gun “let’s get after it” hunting. While Shelley will be covering 3-Gun, I’ll be doing a lot more hunting coverage. In fact, I have my first hunt of 2014 already scheduled, I’ll be traveling to Nevada with Crimson Trace to do a coyote hunt, which should be a lot of fun. That will also give me a chance to test out the new Danner boots I got the other day, the High Ground RealTree Xtra GTX 1000G.

Back to the original topic of hunting as the original extreme sport, one of the biggest proponents of hunting as a valuable tool for defensive learning was Jeff Cooper himself. He believed, and rightly so, that the average CCW holder/armed citizen should avail themselves of every possible opportunity to shoot for blood. I agree that someone who can successfully kill an animal has at least a small mindset advantage over the average private citizen who hasn’t.

If you take people whose jobs entail shooting badguys (soldiers and LEOs) out of the equation, we believe that the best way an armed citizen can prepare for a defensive encounter is a balance of defensive firearms training, competition shooting, and hunting. Training to learn, competition to test skills, and hunting to learn mindset. I’ll be exploring that more this year, and I’m looking forward to sharing those experiences with you.


  1. Jim Cirillo, who may have known a thing or two about gunfighting, was strongly of the opinion that hunters, and specifically handgun hunters, tended to be better gunfighters. Just an observation.

    1. That would make sense…The handgun hunters I’ve known typically shoot some pretty powerful rounds at some fairly long (for a handgun) ranges. Marksmanship is paramount when you’re putting a hit in the 8″ vital zone from 20 yards with open sights, let alone from 40 yards. Considering most hunting handguns have a “power factor” requirement to comply with state law, you are shooting a pretty hot loaded cartridge (I think some states require a power of 400 ft lbs at 50 yards).

      To say nothing of buck fever.

  2. On a recent trip to SW TX for feral hogs and javelina I got to go in the close brush after a friend’s wounded javelina carrying my G17 the same way with the same holster I use for IDPA. I got to engage the javi from concealment efficiently, effectively and safely and helped to recover it. I, also, unfortunately, missed a 14-yard gimme shot at a raccoon with the G17. Better luck next time. I absolutely do agree there is carry over between the two.

  3. John Farnam, my first pistol instructor, goes boar hunting several times a year. He sees the connection too.

  4. Try quail hunting. Damn things won’t flush until you step on them, then they scare the crap out of you with their takeoff noise, then they fly low, fast, and evasive. Dogs help a lot but you have to be careful for them.

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