Originally Posted by PEC-Memphis
No, I'm not a big hunter, but even I know that hunting firearms are generally not loaded until in position to hunt, such in the duck blind or deer stand.
Now hunting other types of such as quail, pheasant or rabbit - ie. mobile rather than stationary - a shotgun is used with small shot which is generally ineffective for SD at distances greater than "room" distances (and arguably not even then).
Other mobile hunting with a rifle - such as rabbit, squirrel, raccoon, etc. - is generally with a small caliber rifle such as a .22; again a generally ineffective SD choice.
I don't suppose I even need to address bow hunting or muzzleloader seasons, as it would seem obvious why carrying a handgun for SD would be needed.
A handgun in a holster can be safely carried loaded and can be deployed, in some instances, more effectively than a long gun.
Additionally, a handgun caliber is sometimes a better choice for killing wounded medium sized game at close range.
Yeah, this is pretty much where I was going to go with it, but you beat me to it. In our camp in Colorado (usually about 15 men from Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia) most carry a pistol just to be safe, if that bear/cat is on top of you, you think you gonna get that rifle up to them?
And I bow hunt in Montana, and carry a .44, do I need to explain why? If I left camp there without a handgun they wouldn't laugh at me, they would probably pray for me.
Now, what was the OP about?