I was hiking in the Appalachian mountains a few weeks ago and came across a couple of aggressive dogs. I pulled out my 9mm (which I carry while hiking) and fired a round in their general direction and fortunately scared them off. I guess this is the first time I've had to fire my gun in self defense. While I continued my hike it made me think, if this had been a wild animal like a cougar or a bear, the 9mm would have been useless. Thus, I am now in the market for a shotgun. I have decided on the Mossberg 500 but am confused on how to carry a shotgun while hiking. I use an Osprey Kestrel 38 backpack. Does anyone carry a shotgun while hiking and how do you carry it? I've seen the Mossberg 500 JIC series but that seems like precious time would be lost to get it off my shoulder and out of the container. Any help is greatly appreciated! On a side note, practice makes perfect. I practice regularly pulling out of my shoulder holster and side holster as well as I go to the range regularly and frequently. I noticed that this practice payed off as without hesitation I unclipped my shoulder holster pulled the gun and took off the safety in one seemless motion. If I had snagged the gun on the holster or had trouble unclipping the holster or forgot to take the safety off I may have been a victim. Practice, practice, practice!