If You’re Considering Rifle Hunting, Start with These Tips from a Local Hunting Store
Whether you’re new to hunting, or transitioning from using a bow to using a rifle, you’ll be faced with an incredibly vast array of options in rifles, ammunition, and more. There are also legal requirements and training and safety courses to consider, and you’ll want to put a lot of thought into the decisions to be made before you even set foot in a gun store in Ottawa. Here we’re going to walk you through a few of the basics so you can walk into your local hunting store with a clearer idea of what to expect.
Rules and Regulations
If you’re rifle hunting in Ontario, then you’ll need a license from the Ministry of Natural Resources and an Ontario Outdoors Card. You’ll also need to read up on regulations and restrictions on the class of firearm that you intend to use, proper attire (such as hunter’s orange), and make sure you know how to get a tag for the animal you intend to hunt. A lot of this information is available online, or at your local hunting store, along with safety courses and training ranges for rifles.
Before you begin, ask yourself this: what kind of game do you intend to hunt? The type of animal will determine the cartridge, which in turn will determine the rifle itself. Why does the animal determine the cartridge? As any Ottawa gun store will tell you, an effective hunter wants to strike a balance between a swift, relatively painless death, and preserving intact meat. Depending on the animal, a cartridge too small may fail to kill it, and a cartridge too big may not leave much meat. The right calibre means an efficient kill with plenty of meat left. For example, when hunting deer, many hunting stores recommend .30 or 7.62 calibre cartridges.
Now that you’ve determined the cartridge you want to use, you’ve also narrowed down your selection of rifles to models that take that type of cartridge. But not every rifle is the same—do you want a single-shot or repeater, and want type of action should it have? This is largely a matter of preference; some hunters like the old-fashioned feel of a single-shot, others prefer the modern convenience of a repeater. As for the size, weight, and shape of the rifle, this is a matter of comfort. A rifle that is uncomfortable to carry or aim may negatively impact the efficiency of your hunt, not to mention wearing your patience thin. Try out a number of rifles of different materials and designs to find one that balances a good weight with a comfortable grip for you. If you’re stuck, the staff at your local gun store in Ottawa will help you find the perfect hunting weapon for you.