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Thread: Hunting and open carry questions

  1. #1
    Regular Member guerro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    Hunting and open carry questions

    Forgive me if this has been discussed at nauseum previously.

    While hunting in the mountains and west desert my thirteen year old son and I have often carried Ruger single action revolvers holstered openly and fully loaded (6 rds). I feel they are very safe to carry because of the transfer bar mechanism. I also thought it ok because we were hunting in rather remote areas (no where near city limits). We have both had hunting permits and there are always coyotes and jack rabbits. I do NOT have a CCP.

    Per Utah code:

    Would this scenario be a problem considering my sons age?

    Does the round in the firing position rule matter while hunting?

    Because they have a transfer bar, with the hammer down there is no mechanical way for them to fire. Therefore, is a round at the 12 oclock really in the firing position if the hammer is down?

    Being single action revolvers, the round at the 10 oclock is always two actions from firing right?

  2. #2
    State Researcher
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    The round in line with the barrel is in firing position, regardless of whether it can actually be fired.

    However, the prohibition on carrying a loaded gun--without a permit to carry--(as contained in 76-10-505) applies to carrying on "public streets". While that may well be extended to include many public areas, I should think that applying it to remote hunting areas is going to be tough.

    There may be hunting regulations that apply to what guns can be carried while engaged in a hunt. Having a permit to carry excuses you from such limits and you can legally carry a self-defense gun, pursuant to your permit, even if it would otherwise be illegal on contrary to DWR regulations to carry it while hunting. For example, carrying a gun on a bow hunt. Without a permit, you or your son is fully subject to any DWR regulations about carrying guns on the hunt.

    I am not a lawyer, this is not legal advice, etc.


  3. #3
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    SW Idaho

    Thumbs up

    I understand the desire (and inalienable right, obviously) to carry fully loaded. However, from a practical perspective, with a single-action, wouldn't it be just as fast to carry with the hammer resting on the empty chamber, because you have to cock it anyway, and cocking rotates the cylinder? I can't think of many situations in the woods in which five rounds just would not do and the sixth would be necessary.

    Regardless, as others have said, check with your fish and game department, as they would claim jurisdiction over your activities while hunting. Thankfully, more and more states are allowing hunters to carry a handgun into the field while engaged in hunting, and in some states (like here in Idaho), one needn't have a concealed carry permit to conceal while engaged in hunting, fishing, trapping, "or any other lawful outdoor activity" while outside of city limits. I would be surprised if the law was not similar in Utah.

  4. #4
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    , ,

    Hunt away...

    I used to do the same thing when I was 13 with a Ruger Single-Action with transfer bar. In my opinion you are fine carrying it with one under the hammer and careful handling. With this type of revolver, he is much more likely to shoot himself in the leg while holstering, than have an accidental discharge by a hammer strike. Be sure and train him to keep his finger off the trigger at all times and the gun pointed in a safe direction at all times. Teach him to holster with his thumb on the hammer, verifying the hammer is down.

    If he is your son he can carry legally (while with you, and hunting). Fully loaded is just fine. Read the miscellaneous section here:

    If you haven't already, get your boy in a Hunter Education class. The instructor should be able to answer all your questions.
    Last edited by combatcarry; 12-15-2010 at 11:25 AM.

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