People hunt cougars with a variety of different firearms, which means that if you're going to start to hunt this big cat, you need to choose what you'll carry. There are pros and cons of each type of weapon, but you may want to consider carrying a handgun. Of course, you'll need a powerful handgun with plenty of stopping power for this task, and you may want to fit it with a scope. Some hunters use semi-automatic handguns to hunt cougars, while others carry large revolvers. Whatever type of handgun you choose, here are three reasons that this is a good idea.
Hunting cougar typically involves navigating tough terrain, which can make this type of hunting physically demanding. For example, you might be climbing mountainous trails and doing so in snowy conditions when the traction is poor. When you carry a rifle or shotgun — or even a compound bow — you'll be aware of the weight and awkwardness of these larger weapons the longer you spend hunting. Even strapped to your back rather than in your hands, a large weapon can slow you down and affect your dexterity. Conversely, a handgun in a hip holster will do little to get in your way during the hunt.
You'll Often Shoot From Close Range
Cougars aren't as afraid of hunters to the same degree as other animals. Because cougars are predatory animals, rather than prey animals, they're often more curious than skittish when they come across someone in their habitat — and might be eager to check out what you're doing. As a result, it's common for hunters to shoot cougars from relatively close range. Unlike hunting a deer, in which you'll almost certainly need a long-range firearm, you can frequently get close enough to a cougar that you can effectively hunt it with a handgun.
It Packs Plenty Of Punch
The last thing that you want when you're hunting cougar is to shoot the animal but not inflict a kill shot. Feeling threatened, a cougar can definitely attack you can mortally wound you. Whereas low-caliber rifles can be effective for other animals that will only run away if they're wounded, you need something with plenty of punch when you're fighting an animal as aggressive and potentially dangerous as a cougar. Many handguns offer large enough calibers that you can be confident that a well-placed shot on this animal will take it down for good.
If you are ready to start hunting but don't necessarily want to go alone, consider purchasing a cougar hunting package.