Hunting with One Arm

I came across Ron Cowan relaxing in the main exhibitor’s hall at the NRAAM. Ron is an older gentleman, soft spoken with an easy manner.  He has but one arm. “I lost it in a hunting accident, my cousin’s shotgun went off.” Ouch.

“I have a friend who is a hunter, he lost his arm pin a motorcycle accident” I replied.  “Do you still hunt?”

Ron smiled “Oh yeah!”

“How do you manage?” I asked.

Ron shrugged, as if I had asked him how he breathed. “I just hold up the shotgun.”

“What do you hunt?”

“Deer, rabbits, stuff like that.”

“Do you have any trouble aiming, managing your point of aim?” I ask.  “Do you need a shorter rifle, a carbine?”

“No, I live in Illinois, so I hunt with a shotgun.  I don’t have any trouble…”

To Ron, being a one-armed hunter was not remotely remarkable.  He just hunts, something he’d done all his life. “Do you have any advice for anyone who lost a part but used to love to hunt?” I ask.

Ron shrugs again.  “Just go hunt!”

Ron puts out a newsletter called the Faith and Freedom Sentinel.  If you want 2nd amendment news on dead tree, write him at:

Faith and Freedom Sentinel
2416 Gayle Ave.
Alton Ill. 62002


  1. avatar Randomhero says:

    I have a “deformity” in my right arm which makes some gun stuff harder, but its never stopped me. Ive learned to rack pistol slides with my left and take advantage of the slide realease. I even use normal bolt guns off hand, prone requires a left handed bolt though. The only gun ive ever had problems with is the AK, the charging handle smacks my “elbow” thus me having to use a magazine hold. I also cant rack a pump shotgun. But ive never passed up the opprotunity to hunt and shoot.

    1. avatar Tim McNabb says:

      If you have a buddy with a video camera (or a tripod), I’ll bet there are folks out there who would love to see you demonstrate how you do it.

      1. avatar Randomhero says:

        Here is me shooting an AK. you can see as soon as i bring it up i switch grips.

        And then my pretty face shooting my Mosin Nagant on my first range trip with it.

        1. avatar Ralph says:

          @Randomhero, you rock! You just do.

  2. avatar Tom says:

    I actually would like to see or know what his shotgun is. That would be interesting.
    Please ask him.

  3. avatar Tim McNabb says:

    Very cool. Randomhero.

    Tom, if I see him, I will ask, but it may cost you a stamp to find out.

  4. avatar Lori Cowan Dafoe says:

    Mr. McNabb, Thank you for writing this! My dad (Ron Cowan) used to use a 3″ 12 guage Remington, but switched to 20 guage 1100 semi-automatic Remington. He also worked in the guard tower as a sharp shooter at Taylorville Correctional Institution for 3 months when they temporarily shut down Pere Marquette State Boys Camp. He is truly an amazing man!

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