I bring along my 45 auto and set it in my post within right arms length in case a deer pins me in my blind and I have to get a quick shot off at it. I only use it if they spot me or smell me at close range and the jig is up and they are looking at me hardcore or ready to bolt. When there isn't enough time to ready the 270 WSM out of my small windows and get it in my FOV in the scope, then out comes old trusty. Over the years I make it a point to go through a box of shells or two before the season starts on paper to get back into my handgun groove and remember my sight marks and tendencies of the weapon, along with the safety features. I use the full metal jacketed Winchester Supremes for good penetration, although I have taken some down with jacketed hollow points at close range. I never, and I mean never shoot beyond my ethical capabilities with my handgun or the different loads that are used. I will take the risk of a deer getting away with my A-bolt before I use my pistol at a range I am not comfortable or confident with. I think that is important to find your effective range with a handgun to make informed and proper decisions based on penetration, accuracy, and precision. It defenitely adds another element to the challenge of whitetail hunting and sometimes I wish I used it for more than the circumstances above, but I can't seem to ever leave my rifle at home during gun season no matter how hard I try. Maybe some day it will stay and I will just handgun hunt, but I don't see it in my immediate future. In any case, I do enjoy harvesting animals with the weapon from time to time. Just recently I've been entertaining the thought of purchasing a Uberti replica 1858 "new army" revolver that is a conversion cylinder from the original Remington percussion conversion in the civil war era with an 8" barrel. The thought about using this revolver to take some whitetail is constantly in my dreams as of late. So, maybe I'm getting more and more of the handgun bug, no? Or maybe I'm just too much of a western buff, lol!!![:D]
"I enjoy and become completely immersed in the challenge and the increased opportunity to become for a time a part of nature. Deer hunting is a classical exercise in freedom. It�s a return to fundamentals that I distinctly feel are basic and right"-F.B.