There are defensive shooters who don't believe in hunting and I know and respect that; so go have a cup of coffee while the rest of us visit. The fact is that handgun hunting is a great way to tune up your personal defense skills. And it has the side benefit of putting some tasty wild game on your dinner table.
While many people hunt from some sort of blind, often near a feeder, I encourage you to take your handgun out and stalk your game. You quickly realize that the majority of the advantage goes to the animal, just as it does to the criminal who picks the time and place to make his attack. You are put in a position of reacting in a situation that you have very little control over.
In addition, handgun hunting drives home the realization that you may not have time to take a perfect shooting stance. You may be trying to fight your way through heavy brush when that deer makes a run for it, just as you may be fumbling with an arm-load of groceries and fishing for your car keys when the crook makes his move. Add that you aren't just going to shoot any old deer, you are looking to make sure that it is legal quarry, you have a clear background, and you are able to make a proper shot—not just throwing bullets downrange.
When handgun hunting, of course, you are obligated to match your gun and cartridge to the game in order to make a clean, humane kill. Hunting deer, hogs, and black bear, for instance, may require a larger caliber than what you usually carry for personal defense. However, whenever possible, it is a good idea to use a gun that is very similar to the one that you carry for your own protection. For example, if you ordinarily carry a Glock .380, you might choose a larger Glock in .357 SIG or 10 mm for your hunting piece. A Smith & Wesson J-frame is your choice? Fine, then go to an L-frame or N-frame in one of the more powerful calibers.
I've been a handgun hunter for well over 30 years and I can tell you that it challenges the pistol shooter. You have to pay attention to what is going on around you. You have to get a rapid sight picture. And you have to break that shot as quickly as possible, in keeping with your ability to make a solid hit.
Having had some experience at both, I can assure you that handgun hunting and gunfighting have a lot in common. Make a serious effort to try handgun hunting and you will see your shooting skills and abilities increase in an amazing manner. Oh, and call me when you have those venison steaks properly grilled and I'll be happy to help you put them away.