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Field Carries

A "field carry" refers to the position that you carry your firearm while hunting. Six commonly used methods are shown below. Regardless of which method you use:

list bullet Control your muzzle direction at all times.

list bullet Never point your firearm at others!

list bullet Keep your fingers outside the trigger guard.

list bullet Keep your safety on until ready to fire.

Two-hand (ready) carry—the firearm is carried with the muzzle end up and across the body. This is one of the safest carry positions, offering good muzzle control while allowing you to get into shooting position quickly. Use this carry when others are in front of or behind you. Never use it when someone is on the same side that the muzzle is pointed.
Cradle carry—one hand is on or near the grip while the fore end of the firearm is cradled in the crook of your elbow. It's a comfortable way to carry a firearm, but this position is not as secure as a two-hand carry. Use it when others are behind or in front of you, but never to the side where the muzzle is pointing.

Elbow (side) carry—firearm is tucked under the armpit and over the arm in front of the elbow. A safe method when walking in open terrain, but in brush, branches tend to catch the gun. Use it when others are behind or to your side, but not when they are in front of you.

Trail carry—the firearm is gripped firmly with one hand at the balance point. This carry offers poor control of your firearm should you fall. Use it when hunting alone or when others are behind you or to your side. Never use this carry when someone is walking ahead of you.
Sling carry—the firearm is hung from the shoulder by a sling with the muzzle pointing upwards. When standing, this carry method frees up your hands for things such as scanning terrain with binoculars. When walking, one hand should grasp the sling to keep the firearm from slipping off the shoulder. This is a poor method when walking on difficult terrain or in heavy brush.
Shoulder carry—one hand grasps the firearm at the grip while the firearm rests across the top of the shoulder. This is the least safe of all carries as you have little control over the firearm should you fall. Never use it when someone is behind you or while walking on rough terrain.

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