Spring means turkey hunting and crappie fishing and wildflower photography. There are birds to watch and mushrooms to gather. But fall is not far away, and you’ll enjoy it more if you practice your shooting skills.
Bow hunters don’t seem to have a problem doing this. They’re religiously flinging arrows, staying in tune. Riflemen seem to think they can check their zero on a box the night before the season opener and be good to go.
Folks, even the world’s greatest athletes still practice. Here are a few quick tips:
- Handle your rifle every day. Lock away the ammo, add a trigger lock or remove the bolt for complete safety, but keep the rifle by your bed or chair and just lift and aim it several times a day. Builds muscle memory, especially ability to find targets in the scope quickly.
- Shoot an air gun or .22 rim fire. It’s cheaper and easier.
- Get off the bench. Once you’re zeroed, practice from field positions. Sitting, standing, on bipods, against trees and rocks.
- Stop flinching. Have someone load the rifle behind your back — or not. You won’t know if there’s a live round in it or not, so you’ll see your flinch.
- Wear ear protection. The painful noise is worsen than the recoil.
- Figure out your trajectory curve and memorize it.
- Shoot once a week if possible and at varying distances, not just 100 yards.
Yes, it costs to shoot, but would you rather burn $300 in practice ammo now or a $350 deer tag in November?
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