Official Montana Hunting Safety Course Link to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

Hello, hunter! Montana's online hunting course has moved. Click here to go to the latest version of the Today's Hunter in Montana course—the official hunting safety course of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

The following course material is for reference only. Please go to the new course to complete your Montana certification.

Field Carries

A field carry refers to the position in which you carry your firearm while hunting. Be sure to protect the trigger area! Six commonly used methods are shown below.

Below are shown six proper field carries:

Trail Carry

Trail carry

Elbow or Side Carry

Elbow or side carry

Sling Carry

Sling carry

Grip the stock with one hand, muzzle pointing down and in front of you.

This carry offers poor muzzle control, especially should you stumble or fall.

Do not use this carry when you are walking behind another person.

Tuck the firearm under your armpit and allow it to hang across your elbow, keeping the muzzle pointed at the ground in front of you.

This carry has the least muzzle control.

Use it only when no one is in front of you and there is little or no brush to catch the barrel.

Hang the firearm from one shoulder by the sling, keeping the muzzle pointed upward. Hook your thumb under the sling while walking or standing.

This carry is one of the most comfortable but least secure. It is not well suited for walking in rough terrain or heavy brush.

Do not use this carry if someone is behind you.

Two-Handed or
"Ready" Carry

Two-handed or ready carry

Cradle Carry

Cradle carry

Shoulder Carry

Shoulder carry

Grasp the firearm with both hands. Carry it muzzle-up across the body. Cover the trigger guard with your hand. Never put your finger on the trigger.

This carry gives you the best control and can be one of the safest carries.

Do not use this carry if someone is walking on the side toward which the muzzle is pointing.

Cradle the barrel in the bend of one arm while holding the stock with the other hand.

This is a comfortable carry and will not tire your arms.

Do not use this carry if someone is walking on the side toward which the muzzle is pointing.

Hold the stock, and lean the firearm against your shoulder with the muzzle pointing up.

It works well in high brush, but is not secure.

Do not use this carry if someone is behind you.

Montana Fish, Wildlife,
& Parks
White-tailed deer tracks
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Official hunting safety course for Montana hunters last modified: November 16, 2011
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