Before you arrive on a B.C. hunt or any big game hunt, its important to make sure you’re in top shooting shape. Taking a few shots off of a bench rest with your rifle is not the ideal way to prep for your hunt. You’re investing a lot of time and resources to embark on a hunt, so make sure you’re ready to make a shot that counts!
As you prepare for your hunting trips this fall, here are three things you should do to make sure you are comfortable and well-practiced with your weapon:
1. Sign Up for a Shooting School
Hands down, the best thing you can do to improve your shooting is to attend a shooting school. These are usually weekend classes designed to hone skills and improve marksmanship. Clinics are available from organizations like Best of the West in Cody, Wyoming as well as local instructors in many regions. If you hunt often, this is a very worthwhile investment in both your time and money. You’ll go in to your next hunting adventure with a whole new level of confidence.
2. Shoot While Wearing Your Hunting Clothes and Gear
If you plan to hunt in it, you should practice shooting in it. That includes your jackets, gloves, binocular harness, backpack and everything else you’ll have on your body during a hunt. Don’t leave room for any surprises or miscues in the field.
3. Shoot From Several Different Positions
Keep that hunting gear on, you’re not done yet. Once you’re comfortable with your gloves, hats, jackets and the rest of your setup, start shooting from different positions. It’s important to get off the bench rest. Shoot kneeling, sitting and prone.
While you’re practicing from different positions, also consider any shooting accessories that you plan to use. This might include a bipod or shooting sticks. Any hunting guide can tell you stories of missed opportunities because of lack of familiarity with these types of accessories. Don’t let something so easily preventable get in the way of a great opportunity.
4. Shoot With an Elevated Heart Rate
Feeling good with your shooting sticks or in a number of possible positions? Good. Next, it’s time to take a few sprints and then line up for the shot. There’s a good chance you’ll be moving quickly before you set up for that shot of a lifetime. Your heart might be racing and you may be out of breath. Try and simulate those situations at home. Make sure you can shoot while wearing all of your hunting gear and with your heart pounding. That will be a key test.
Of course a big part of this practice is to avoid any problems with your weapon or other equipment in the field. But another important part of practicing is to build your confidence. When you are presented with that shooting opportunity, be confident knowing that you can make it count!
Written by Ryan McSparran
Ryan McSparran is an outdoor writer, a hunting and fly fishing guide, and very proud to be a part of the Kawdy Outfitters team.