About the Study Guide

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There are many different ways to carry firearms safely. The pictures on this page show you different ways. No matter how you decide to carry your firearm while hunting, be sure that:

  • The safety is "on."
  • Your finger is outside the trigger guard.
  • The muzzle points in a safe direction and is under control.
  • The gun remains unloaded until you are ready to hunt.
Elbow or Side Carry

Elbow or Side Carry

Comfortable, but it has the least muzzle control. It also can snag in brushy terrain. Use it when no one is in front of you.

Sling Carry

Sling Carry

Easy carry for long treks through open country. Keep a hand on the sling when walking so that it doesn’t slide off your shoulder if you trip. Not recommended for thick brush because the gun could be knocked from your shoulder.

Trail Carry

Trail Carry

Leaves a hand free for balance, but don’t use it when you’re behind someone. Not recommended when walking in snow or brush—debris can get in the barrel.

Two-Handed or "Ready" Carry

Two-Handed or "Ready" Carry

Provides the best control, particularly in thick brush or weeds, or when you need to fire quickly.

Cradle Carry

Cradle Carry

Comfortable and secure; reduces arm fatigue.

Shoulder Carry

Shoulder Carry

Good choice in waist-high brush. Don’t use it if someone is behind you.