I hope all of you had a wonderful 4th of July. Summer is now wholly upon us and Montana’s warm weather fun is in full swing. Hiking, biking, fishing, and camping are filling our days. It is vacation time for many Montanans, but there is also another good side to July. In less than two months, Montana’s hunting seasons will begin.
My favorite form of hunting is chasing the Treasure State’s upland game birds. Whether the quarry are the native grouses and doves, or our exotic transplant partridge and pheasant, upland bird hunting is great fun and the rewards are some of the best table fare one can feast on. Now is the time to begin preparations for the upcoming season.
I suggest you start with your marksmanship. Trap, skeet, and sporting clays are excellent games for improving your shotgunning skills. These games will help you develop smooth gun movement, a solid gun mount, and you will learn to use your vision more effectively. As a certified NRA trainer, I strongly suggest you spend some time with a professional instructor or coach; you will be greatly rewarded for the money you spend.
Don’t forget your fitness, and that of your canine partner. Start an exercise routine for both of you, begin slowly and work your way up. A little work now will make your future hunts much more enjoyable.
If you are considering a new gun, buy it soon; learn how to operate and care for it, and practice, practice, practice. It is no fun being the brunt of the laughter and jokes of you hunting buddies when you can’t remember how to release the safety on your new gun as the wary rooster spirits away on the wind. Even worse, your dog will give you “the look.”
I’m enjoying our warm summer while it lasts ( summer is always too short), but with less than two months to the bird season opener; I’m getting a bit antsy for that first eruption of a blue grouse going to wing. In fact, I can hardly wait. I swear, I can taste that scrumptious fowl right now.
If you’re in the Townsend area, Broadwater Rod and Gun Club’s shotgun ranges await you. Sporting clays at the Indian Creek range is open Wednesdays, 6-8 PM and Sundays, 2-4 PM. The Canton Lane trap range is open Mondays at 5 PM. Come out and shoot some practice rounds, have some fun; your dog will greatly appreciate your improved marksmanship this fall.
Be safe and good shooting.