You used to be able to hone your shooting skills hunting for wild game to feed your family, but those days of depending on how good a shot you are to survive are long gone. However, that doesn’t make being a good shot any less important when taking advantage of the many hunting seasons you may participate in.
Being a good shot allows you a clean, humane kill- and provides unspoiled, organic sources of meat for your table. And when you want to be on your top game (pun intended), you need to make sure your shooting skills are up to par. Take a look at our top 10 suggestions to improve your wild game aim, and ensure you’ll fill your freezer next hunting season.
- The Importance of a Clean Shot
- Improving Your Shooting Skills
- 1. Clay Target Practice in All Positions
- 2. Master Mounting and Swinging
- 3. Invest in a Good Scope
- 4. Have an Eye Test and Confirm Dominant Eye
- 5. Invest in Dry Firing Training Equipment
- 6. Dress Appropriately When Practicing
- 7. Be Physically Fit
- 8. Hunt With a Modified Choke
- 9. Rethink Your Shooting Stance
- 10. Customize Your Firearm
The Importance of a Clean Shot
If you are serious about hunting, especially larger game such as deer and black bear, you already know the importance of a clean shot. A clean shot is considered a shot that is specific to the vital organ area that will produce an instant, or inevitably quick death. This takes patience in the field to watch for your opportunity, and more than anything you need to be confident in your skills to get it done.
Improving Your Shooting Skills
There are actually many ways to help improve your shooting skills, and not all of them require blowing through expensive ammo to do so. Take a look at some of our favorite suggestions to help you get focused and prepped for hunting season.
1. Clay Target Practice in All Positions
Especially important when you are hunting fowl or all types, learning to track and acquire a moving target is always good practice for all hunting abilities. Take the time to perceive the skill and hone your eye and gun coordination for quicker response times in the field.
2. Master Mounting and Swinging
Unless you are hunting from a blind, chances are you will need to be able to quickly move your gun from one position to on target, and that isn’t going to be a smooth motion unless you have practiced. Practice your movements from the position you carry your gun in, how you hold it if sitting, and where it might be placed when not in your hands. This will allow you to build muscle memory so you aren’t thinking of how to raise it to where it needs to be when it counts.
3. Invest in a Good Scope
If you are hunting at a distance, you absolutely should invest in a quality scope. Don’t bother with bargains either, instead, pick a choice that works well with your rifle for the game you are hunting. For example, if you are hunting hogs, you want a dependable, powerful choice that can pick them off from a distance to avoid the absolute violence they will unleash on you given the chance. Therefore, you would want the most capable scope for a 6.5 Creedmoor you can find.
4. Have an Eye Test and Confirm Dominant Eye
Unless you wear corrective lenses, this might not have even been on your radar. Even if you do, you might not have truly considered this. First, it is easy to figure out which eye is dominant, but it isn’t so easy to figure out which eye is your distance focusing eye, and which is focusing on your sights. People who find sightings in their firearm or struggle with a new gun often can find a solution with the help of an eye doctor.
5. Invest in Dry Firing Training Equipment
Rather than blow through bricks of ammo, invest in a laser dry firing system to help you quickly and effectively acquire your target and let you know where you need work. This works great with mounting and swinging practices to help you consistently bring your gun to the same spot every time.
6. Dress Appropriately When Practicing
We often go plinking and shooting in comfortable clothes for the occasion, not as if we are heading out on the hunt. How we carry, hold, and even find our target changes due to the clothing we are wearing. Be sure to practice with the clothing you would normally wear to avoid slowing yourself down or getting hung up.
7. Be Physically Fit
You of course don’t need to be marathon fit to hunt, but you want to be able to get to where you hunt, move smoothly, and not be out of breath when it’s time to fire. If you’ve been sedentary laely, get out and start walking for 20 to 30 minutes at a time to help build up your cardiovascular health and tone your muscles.
8. Hunt With a Modified Choke
Bird hunters, stop opening up your choke as if you were shooting skeet or trap. You want a closed down choke to help scatter at a greater distance. Rarely will you be shooting everything within 20 yards, and you want to have the ability of scatter at a longer distance.
9. Rethink Your Shooting Stance
Consider how you stand, I mean really consider it. Are you in a position that if you had to move your body you would still be well balanced enough to be on target? Try a few things and see if you can move your gun up, down, and side to side without issue. If you are uncomfortable, it might be time to rethink your footing.
10. Customize Your Firearm
Last, but not least, customize the feel of your firearm to fit you. Depending on what you are shooting, you can add to teh butt stock, change a grip and trigger guard, and definitely change up the sights and optics.
These steps are great options for just about any wild game you may be hunting. Remember, you want to be on your best game to bring home your prey with a clean kill, and a minimum of hassle.